• A multi-disciplinary ministerial team will leave for Iran on January 16 to work out the modalities for a ‘payment plan' to ensure smooth supplies of crude oil from Tehran, the second biggest exporter of oil to India, in view of impeding U.S. sanctions against Iran.
  • India is  one among the biggest importers of crude oil from Iran. Japan is the biggest importer followed by South Korea. All are close U.S. allies and there is a feeling that any sanctions to block supplies will badly hit their people and the economy. Therefore, a channel needs to be opened with the U.S. to either ensure payment for the oil through some source or to ensure that crude oil imports are exempted from sanctions
  • Under the proposal being prepared, National Iranian Oil Company will open a rupee account with Indian banks and can use the money to purchase non-strategic items like railway imports and buying commodities. It cannot, however, use the money to invest in India or buy shares or companies. A list of what Iran can do with the money and what it cannot is being prepared.