India to pay Iran $1.65 billion in landmark oil deal
India's government has requested for all payments to be made by mid-May to Tehran (File/AFP)
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India is scheduled to pay $1.65 billion to Iran for oil imports over the next three months as part of a nuclear agreement between Tehran and the six world powers for the release of over four billion dollars of blocked Iranian funds overseas.
According to sources privy to the issue, four Indian refiners - Essay Oil, Bangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd. - will settle the amount in three tranches, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The Indian government has reportedly asked the firms to make the first payment by mid-May.
"The individual companies' share is to be worked out," a source said.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the US, France, Britain, Russia, China -- plus Germany reached the deal on November 24, 2013, in the Swiss city of Geneva to set the stage for the full settlement of the dispute over Iran’s program. The deal took effect on January 20.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries agreed to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions would be imposed on the Islamic Republic within the same time frame.
The sanctions relief for Iran includes access to $4.2 billion of its oil revenues frozen abroad by eight money-transfer schedules through July. Iran has already received five payments, four from Japan and one from South Korea, for oil imports.
"All I can confirm is that some movement is happening on payments by India to Iran, but the modalities as to which bank will be used by India to remit funds is yet to be worked out," a western diplomat with knowledge of the matter said.
India is among Asia’s major importers of energy, and relies on the Islamic Republic to meet a portion of its energy requirements.
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