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Crude payment problem with Iran sorted out says Jaitely

The Contentious payment problem for import of Iranian oil, has been resolved Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after meeting his Iranian counterpart Masoud Karbasian in Washington.

“There were several pending issues with Iran, particularly relating to the oil payment. Most of them have been resolved,” he told reporters.

Mr Jaitley, who is on a week-long visit to the US, led the Indian delegation to the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as associated meetings.

The finance minister also said that India, which continued to import Iranian oil even during the sanctions regime on Iran imposed by the West, has a very stable relationship with the Persian Gulf nation.

Referring to India's decision to build terminals at Chabhar port he said it is very strategic for both the countries, because the Chabahar port is not only going to service Iran, but also going to service Afghanistan,” he said.

India and Iran have agreed to develop the strategic Chabahar port on Iran’s southern coast that will help Indian access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan.

As per the agreement with Iran last year, India will equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with a capital investment of 85.21 million US Dollars and annual revenue expenditure of 22.95 million US dollars on a 10-year lease.

An official of the Indian delegation told newspersons that the Iranian finance minister Karbasian did not raise the issue of US President Donald Trump’s latest pronouncements on the Iran nuclear deal during his meeting with Jaitley.

Accusing Iran of violating the international nuclear accord, President Trump had threatened last week to pull the US out of the deal and put sanctions against Iran back into place.

He said he would not certify to the US Congress by Sunday’s deadline whether Iran is complying with the accord, a certification the US President is required to make every 90 days.

The Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015 between then US President Barack Obama’s administration, Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union and endorsed thereafter by the UN Security Council through a unanimous vote.

But if US implements the threat international banks will decline to do business with Iranian trade. India will also have problems in continuing with the Port project in Iran. Besides importing petroleum products from Iran, the Iranian oil company has equity stakes in the nine million ton stand alone refinery of Chennai Petroleum Corporation. The issue of Iranian equity came in the way of the refinery being merged with Indian Oil Corporation.

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