Iran says oil money coming back from India, China, South Korea

Tehran has been able to establish financial channels with regional countries to pay its exports in their national currencies in a bid to unblock the flow of export money to the country.

13 January 2019
ID : 1764
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Tehran has been able to establish financial channels with regional countries to pay its exports in their national currencies in a bid to unblock the flow of export money to the country.

The Iran Delvar, an Iranian Oil Tanker.

Iran says it’s been able to accelerate repatriation of its export dollars from several Asian countries that had been blocking them due to financial restrictions caused by unilateral US sanctions.

Governor of Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnaser Hemmati, said the money is coming back from three Asian countries that have been granted US sanctions waiver. “Foreign exchange repatriation from India, South Korea and China has begun and is accelerated,” he wrote in his Instagram account.  

Hemmati is referring to billions of dollars of Iran oil money that have been frozen in these countries after the administration of Donald Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 international treaty about Iran’s nuclear agreement and renewed sanctions on Tehran.

His comment may also be a reference to the fact that Iran has been able to open a payment channel in these countries’ national currencies in a bid to offset the sanctions and ease trade.

India announced at the beginning of the year that it’s removing a hefty 42% withholding tax on rupee payments to National Iran Oil Company (NIOC). Last week, Iran Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, headed a large political and business delegation to India to assure New Delhi that Tehran “is and will remain the country’s reliable oil supplier.”

Reuters reported during that visit that some Indian refineries have been able to settle the Iranian oil money in rupee.

India, China, South Korea are part of the eight counties that were granted US waivers to keep buying Iran oil and gas.

“The US efforts to affect Iran foreign exchange market will be neutralised due to Central Bank’s effective presence in the market,” stressed the Central Bank governor. 

Foreign currencies, especially dollar and euro, saw their prices rise drastically a few months ago before the country’s Central Bank took measures to inject more dollars in a bid to calm the market.

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