An Indian trade delegation will travel to Iran next week to explore “huge opportunities” in business amid US-led sanctions over the Islamic republic’s disputed nuclear programme, an export group said.
The group will visit Iran from March 10-14, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations said late on Friday, adding exporters had settled a major problem on how to receive payments from Tehran in the face of sanctions on dollar deals.
The top trade organisation, set up by the government, said Indian exporters would be paid for goods sent to Iran using a rupee payment system.
Iran’s Parsian Bank has opened an account with India’s UCO Bank and Indian exporters now are receiving rupee payments from Iran, Seth said.
The method gives New Delhi a way to circumvent Western sanctions that are drying up banking routes.
Iran is India’s second-largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, providing around 12 percent of the fast-growing country’s crude needs.
India has been examining ways to step up trade with Iran amid problems in settling its oil bills from Iran as a result of the intensifying sanctions campaign aimed at forcing Tehran to abandon its nuclear programme.
India’s Congress party-led government says it will abide only by UN sanctions on the Islamic republic, and will not implement those by individual nations.
The two countries, which have long historic ties, hope to be able to settle around 45 percent of their oil trade in rupees by increasing exports, Indian media reports say.