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Source Questions Reports on Halt of Iran's Oil Supply to India

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, July 2 (ICANA) – An Informed source at the Iranian oil ministry questioned authenticity of some recent media reports that Iran has threatened to cut crude supplies to India due to the lack of an agreed mechanism for the settlement of payments.
Saturday, July 02, 2011 8:15:35 PM
Source Questions Reports on Halt of Iran's Oil Supply to India

"Foreign medias have embarked on releasing such reports based on what they have heard; it is unlikely that such a formal letter has been sent to India about a halt in oil supplies," the source told FNA on the condition of anonymity.

He further mentioned that Tehran and New Delhi had, in a recent, agreed on halting oil supplies if no solution was found on mode of oil payment, but no formal action or decision has yet been taken in this regard.

He said the incorrect media reports might have been the result of wrong speculations about the abovementioned meeting.

Stating that India currently owes Iran $2bln for oil imports in recent months, the source said such a letter would only be sent to India only when the government makes a definite and formal decision over the issues, and stressed that Iran would inform the media if it takes any such decision in this regard.

Earlier report claims that Iran has threatened to stop crude oil supplies to India from August if New Delhi does not resolve a seven-month-old payment dispute.

Iran is the second largest crude supplier to the country after Saudi Arabia and accounts for about 12% of India's annual oil needs.

The question of crude oil payments to Iran came into focus in December, when India's central bank stopped payments to Tehran through the Asian Clearing Union.

India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Iran, Myanmar, Bhutan, the Maldives and Sri Lanka are members of the union. Washington believes Tehran is using the financial clearing house to evade international sanctions.

India then made some overdue payments to Iran through Germany's Deutsche Bundesbank. But, according to media reports, Germany stopped accepting money from India for Iranian oil payments following criticism from the US and Israeli governments.

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