India to continue Iranian oil imports via rupees: envoy

TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (MNA) – India’s ambassador Saurabh Kumar said on Saturday that his country will continue importing Iranian oil with the help of the new payment mechanism agreed between the two sides.

Kumar told ISNA that India’s oil imports from the Islamic Republic has not been cut, and the country has been purchasing an average of 1.25 million tons of crude oil from Iran during the past months.

Regarding the efforts to remove the payment hurdles and abandoning US dollar in mutual transactions, the senior official said India’s UCO bank has opened rupee accounts with several Iranian banks so they can deposit the oil money in those accounts. The mechanism will be operational in less than two weeks, he added. 

India, Iran’s second biggest oil customer after China, has been granted sanctions waiver to import some 300,000 barrels per day of Iranian oil for 180 days, starting from Nov. 5.

However, the two sides are making every effort to ensure the continuance of future trades in oil and non-oil sectors.

Kumar had announced on Wednesday that according to the agreements made between Iranian and Indian high-ranking officials, the two sides are to sign a preferential trade agreement (PTA) and a joint investment one in near future.

“The PTA will be penned during an Iranian delegation’s tip to India,” he said.

Iran-India trade volume can reach from its present $15 billion per year to $20 billion, the ambassador said, if the necessary grounds are provided.

MNA/ISN97100100051

News Code 140758

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