Banking restrictions on Iranian euro conversions lifted – but not on dollars

Banking restrictions on Iranian euro conversions have now been lifted, the Director  General of its  foreign ministry’s political and international affairs department Hamid Baeedinejad said yesterday, confirming that India’s Mangalore Refineryand Petrochemicals and Indian Oil Corp had already used Turkey’s Halkbank to convert $500m and $250m respectively to meet payments outstanding to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
Indian companies continued to import Iranian oil after sanctions were imposed on Iran in 2012 and paid  for 45% of their oil imports in rupees but were unable to carry out transactions in US dollars.Payment of the debt, which has built up to $6.5bn over the past four years, is expected to be high on the agenda during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tehran which began yesterday.
Despite the abolition  of sanctions on  Iranian banks after it reached a deal over its nuclear programmes with the UN Security Council and Germany last year, US restrictions on Iran’s dollar-denominated transactions are still in place.