National

India against sanctions on Iran

Washington: While subscribing to the US policy that Iran should not have nuclear weapons, India opposed sanctions against Iran on the ground that this affects the common people. Former National Security Advisor, M.K. Narayan had stated to American Senators Russ Feingold and Bob Casey that India and Iran have enjoyed civilisational links, India contains the second-largest Shia population in the world and any event in Iran could have an impact on India because of their geographical proximity, when the two had visited in May 2008.

India-Iran made a major breakthrough in relations by ending a month long uncertainty on the mode of payment for crude-oil. The Indian government has decided to pay in euros for the supplies. Inspite of outstanding of $3 billion as RBI had blocked a regional money-transfer mechanism a month-and-half ago. Iran continued to supply oil on credit. Crude from Iran makes up for 12 percent of the country’s needs.

After a meeting between National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Nirupamo Rao and Economic Affairs Secretary R. Gopalam with Petroleum Secretary S. Sundarshan it was decided to pay in euro through Hamburg based EIH Bank. The SBI has been directed to start clearing the backlog of payments. The German central bank has agreed to receive Euro payments for Iranian oil on the condition that the importing entity or its bank issues a that the money will not be used for trade in any commodity under UN or European sanctions.
 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 18

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