Bloomberg reported today that Iran has asked India to pay for its oil partly in yen as the two countries seek a solution on how to maintain their commercial relations amid the upcoming sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The CBI handles all oil transactions for Iran [Bloomberg, 22 January].
During a visit to Tehran by a high-level Indian delegation, India reportedly proposed to pay for Iran oil in rupees. Under that proposal, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) would open rupee accounts in Indian banks and would use the oil revenues to purchase “non-strategic” goods and services from India. The Bloomberg report indicates that such arrangement, basically a variation of barter trade, was not entirely acceptable for the Iranian side.
India’s purchase of Iran crude approximates $10 billion annually. Iran’s imports from India are worth about $2.5 billion a year.