August 1 Deadline
Iran today reiterated its earlier warning to India that it will stop exporting oil to that country on 1 August if India could not finalize a way to pay its overdue invoices that exceeds $2 billion. Today’s warning was issued by a senior official at the ministry of oil and was carried by the semi-official Fars News Agency.
India is Iran’s second biggest crude oil customer and stopping the exports to the country would seriously affect Iran’s global market share in crude oil exports. It is also expected that if Iran stops oil shipments to India in less than two weeks, Saudi Arabia, already India’s largest source of oil imports, would try to raise its exports to account for the Iranian loss.
Correction: We had reported earlier that India's unpaid oil bills exceed $2 billion. Today, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran told reporters in Tehran that India’s unpaid bills are much higher, and actually exceeds $5 billion.