Test run successful, India begins clearing Iranian dues

New Delhi: Indian refiners appear to be satisfied with a test run of payments through a Turkish conduit and will now continue to make payments through the same route. This was the first payment made by Indian refiners over the last five months ever since a German conduit was blocked through American pressure.

"We've been able to make payments," a senior executive at Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) told reporters. "I don't see any danger to supplies now," he said.

Indian refiners have run into problems over payments for the crude they import since December when the Indian central bank blocked payments through the Asian Clearing Union a regional financial transaction facility.

A subsequent payment conduit worked out through the Germany-based EIH Bank also failed as that route too was blocked by the Americans who applied sufficient pressure on Bonn. Over the intervening months outstanding bills piled up to the tune of $7 billion.

This entire amount is not immediately payable, however, as Iran provides a credit facility of 90 days. 

The US claims Tehran could use these amounts to finance an alleged nuclear-weapons programme.