A senior Iranian official says Tehran prefers to receive payments for crude oil exports to India in euros rather than in rupees following the easing of sanctions against Iran as a result of the Geneva nuclear deal.
“The Indians are interested in increasing oil imports from Iran and we welcome this matter in the event that it would be possible for us to receive payments in euros in our accounts,” Mohsen Qamsari, director for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said on Sunday, SHANA reported.
The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said in January it is resuming crude oil delivery to Asian buyers in its own vessels as sanctions ease following the implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
On January 20, the European Union Council suspended part of its sanctions against Iran according to the Geneva nuclear deal between Tehran and the Sextet of world powers – the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany – which was signed last November.
Qamsari said, given the volume of its transaction with India, Iran prefers being paid in euros for crude oil exports to India because of its “increased utility” for Tehran.
He said the sanctions imposed on Iran’s energy and banking sector in 2012 “made it very difficult” for India’s euro payment to Iran through a bank account in Turkey.
“After the scaling back of some bans on Iran’s oil transactions following the Geneva accord, the Indians have expressed interest in buying more oil from Iran within the framework of this agreement,” said Qamsari.
On February 25, India’s Oil Secretary Vivek Rae said New Delhi is ready to pay USD 1.5 billion to Iran for oil imports following the partial easing of sanctions on Tehran as part of the Geneva nuclear deal.
Iran’s January oil shipments to the Indian customer were 31 percent higher year on year.
India is among Asia’s major importers of energy, and relies on the Islamic Republic to satisfy a portion of its energy requirements.