Iran had seriously warned India that it could halt crude supplies if New Delhi failed o pay overdue payments hampered by international sanctions against Tehran, the oil ministry said on Sunday. India is the second largest client of National Iranian Oil Company after china, as it absorbs about 20 per cent of its crude exports.
India has been struggling for 6 months to pay Tehran for the oil supplies, through various Asian and European banking channels- Germany in particular – which have been successively closed one after another.
On Friday, reports cited unnamed executives at two Indian refinery companies as saying Iran’s state run company had warned them that it could stop oil supplies from August if New Delhi failed to clear its long pending debt of about 2 billion$. Tehran refuses to be paid in rupees.
The possibility of India paying in gold for Iranian crude is one of the solutions under consideration, according to Iranian media.
Iran is the second largest crude exporter to India after Saudi Arabia. But as of now, Iran’s oil exports to India are continuing with no plans to halt supplies after a warning to the neighboring countries over delays in paying for imported crude, an Iranian oil ministry official said “A warning was sent to indebted refineries but sending this letter doesn’t mean Iran’s oil exports to India were cut” Mohsen Qamsari, the National Iranian Oil Companies, head of international affairs.
They have absolutely no intention of halting their supplies to the Indian market.
Report by Asha Mathew