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India looks to new banks for Iran's crude

India looks to new banks for Iran's crude
A view of phases 3 and 4 of the South Pars quarter one (SPQ1) natural gas platform in the Persian gulf waters near the southern port of Asalouyeh, Iran, on January 27, 2011. South Pars is the world's largest gas field, and shared between Iran and Qatar. Iran expects to fully develop its part of South Pars by 2015. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

NEW DELHI, April 12 (UPI) -- New Delhi is considering banks in Dubai as a channel to make payments to Iran for crude oil after a German bank backed away from the deal, an official said.

New Delhi had moved cash through German bank Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG to buy oil from Iran, one of the top crude suppliers to India.

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EIH received euros for the Iranian crude only when Indian importers issued notes saying the money wouldn't be used for sanctioned goods. Officials in the U.S. Treasury Department said that wasn't enough and the German bank said recently that it stopped the payments.

New Delhi is now looking at banks in Dubai or Turkey in order facilitate crude payments after the Germans backed out.

"We are exploring if Indian oil firms can open accounts in banks like Dubai-based Noor Islamic Bank so they can undertake a direct transfer of money for oil they buy from Iran," a government official told the Press Trust of India.

The Iranian side would open an account in whatever bank New Delhi chose for the transactions, the official added.

India is getting its crude oil from Iran currently on credit. India had imported about 12 million barrels of oil per month from Iran.

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