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China, India keen on Iran trade despite US sanctions
International Desk

Business might have slowed in Iran due to the US-imposed sanctions, but China and India are resolved to weather the storm.

With commercial ties dating back to the ancient Silk Road, many Chinese companies have said that they will still find a way to do business in Iran, despite the threat of US punitive actions, aljazeera.com reported.

Aggressive US actions may actually be strengthening Sino-Iranian relations; the two ancient civilizations seem set to endure the hardships together.

Also, the outgoing Indian ambassador to Tehran expressed his country’s willingness to boost trade ties with Iran.

He met the head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture to discuss ways of continuing Iran-India trade under reimposed US sanctions, Eghtesad Online reported, according to ndtv.com.

Saurabh Kumar and Masoud Khansari explored the avenues to continue trade relations.

After US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from Iran's nuclear deal in May, the US has reimposed sanctions on Iran, including embargoes on Iran's banking and oil sectors.

The US sanctions may present a new window of opportunity for Iran-India ties, Khansari said, adding that the focus of mechanisms to facilitate cooperation between Iran and India should be laid on banking and financial cooperation.

He also highlighted the role of Iranian Chabahar port in developing close cooperation with India, adding, "Now that the port has been exempted from US sanctions, the two sides must capitalize on this opportunity."

Sanctions create many problems, but they have also created this opportunity for us to tap into neglected capabilities and capacities," he was quoted as saying.

Tehran’s chamber is conducting studies on regional trade partners, including India, for import and export purposes, Khansari added.

Kumar presented a list of 1,000 goods items that Iran can import from India.

"Fortunately, trade based on national currencies of the two countries has become a clear and transparent mechanism, so Iran can provide a portion of its important needs by using India's rupee," Kumar said.

The Indian diplomat added India can import 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day for the next six months from Iran based on the US exemption, and half of its money will be wired to accounts belonging to the Iranian banks in Indian banks in rupees.

Iran can, in turn, purchase essential goods such as food, medicine and humanitarian trade goods that are exempt from sanctions, according to the report.

The remaining half of the oil money may be exchanged into euros or other foreign currencies for Iran to receive and transfer, Kumar said, noting that a mechanism should be developed for this money to be transferred out of India.

 

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