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Iran says no decision yet to stop oil to India

Iran says no decision yet to stop oil to India
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First Published: Fri, Jul 22 2011. 02 58 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Jul 22 2011. 02 58 PM IST
Tehran: Iran said on Friday it had no plans yet to cut oil exports to India over a payment dispute, the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted an oil official as saying.
Iran warned India on Monday that it would stop exporting oil to India from 1 August if the financial dispute over payment was not resolved.
“No decision has been made yet... the caretaker oil minister Mohammad Aliabadi will make the final decision on it if the dispute is resolved in the next few days,” said Mohsen Ghamsari, the head of the international affairs office at the Nastional Iranian Oil Co.
NIOC, the state oil firm that supplies around 12% of India’s oil imports, set the deadline in a letter dated 27 June to Indian refiners, sources told Reuters in early July.
Iran, facing increased isolation internationally, and energy-hungry India have been looking to resolve an impasse triggered in December when the Reserve Bank of India ended a regional clearing mechanism under US pressure.
Analysts say Iran is putting pressure on India to accelerate the resolution of the payments mechanism dispute.
Iran says India owes it $5 billion for oil imports in recent months.
Earlier this year, Germany allowed India to pay for the oil via Hamburg-based EIH bank, which handles international trade for Iranian companies.
But India halted that conduit in early April after discussions with German chancellor Angela Merkel, and EIH has since come under EU sanctions.
India has said it has a back-up plan to cope with any potential shortfall in oil imports.
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First Published: Fri, Jul 22 2011. 02 58 PM IST
More Topics: Iran | Oil | India | Payments | Crude |