India’s envoy to Tehran said his country has approached Turkey’s Halkbank to facilitate the payment of $6.5 billion to Iran, which India owes for crude oil imports, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
“The Indian government is seeking to pay the $6.5 billion debt and is looking to prepare the banking activities. The receiving bank for this money will be Turkey’s Halkbank, and the money will be paid in euros,” Fars quoted Saurabh Kumar as saying.
Kumar told a gathering of Indian businessmen and women at Tehran Chamber of Commerce that a preferential trade deal between Iran and India will soon be finalised and ready for implementation in a push to boost mutual trade, Fars reported.
The Indian official also said a transit deal between Iran, Afghanistan and India is being prepared for signature by the three countries based on which the south to north corridor from Bandar Abbas will be initiated.
India, one of the biggest customers of Iranian crude, is seen exporting at least 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Iran in the year from April 1, but needs to clear a payment backlog built up when Iran was under nuclear sanctions.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Iran later this month.