The Indian government on Saturday paid the first part of its outstanding oil dues to Iran ahead of a visit by the country’s prime minister to the Islamic Republic, a report said.
According to a report carried by the Business Standard, Indian refiners cleared part of their $6.5 billion debt to Iran in euros through Turkey’s Halkbank.
Essar Oil has to pay Iran about $3.1 billion, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd owes $2.8 billion, and Indian Oil Corp owes $581 million. HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL) has to pay $97 million and Hindustan Petroleum Corp owes $29 million.
This is the first payment to Iran by India since the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions and it is not yet known when the second instalment will be paid, the report added.
It was paid one day before a visit by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Tehran beginning on Sunday. The Indian prime minister will arrive in the Iranian capital on May 22 at the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The visit will come after Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj travelled to Tehran in April to discuss ways to bolster energy cooperation between the two nations.
International interest in ties with Iran has been growing since Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14, 2015 finalized a comprehensive nuclear deal and started implementing it on January 16.
The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), terminated all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)