Banking restrictions on Iran removed, euro conversions now possible


Hamid Baeedinejad, a high-ranking Iranian Foreign Ministry official, says restrictions on the conversion of foreign currencies into euro for have been lifted.

A top Iranian Foreign Ministry official has been quoted by the media as saying that banking restrictions on the conversion into euro of foreign currencies for Iran have been lifted.   
Hamid Baeedinejad, the director general of Political and International Affairs Department of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, has cited the ability of Indian companies to convert a sum of $750 million into euro for Iran through a Turkish bank as a sign of this.  
This, Baeedinejad said, shows that restrictions on euro conversions for large sums belonging to Iran have been lifted. 
He has further emphasized that Iran will continue efforts to lift all restrictions on financial transactions that still remain in place. 
Reports earlier said India’s Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited had transferred $500 million in payment of its debts for Iranian oil. Another sum of $250 million has also been transferred by Indian Oil Corp. After conversion in euro, the money is to be credited to the account of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) with Turkey’s Halkbank, the media have reported.
The payment through Turkey’s Halkbank was the first since the lifting of Western sanctions against the Islamic Republic in February.
Indian companies continued to import Iranian oil after sanctions were imposed on Iran in 2012. They paid 45 percent of their oil imports in rupee but could not execute payment in US dollars. Over these years, the Indian oil debt has reached $6.5 billion.
India had been for long negotiating with Iran over settling the debts pertaining to old oil purchases. 
Several European banks including the Danske bank of Denmark, Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank (EIH) of Germany, Central Bank of Italy and Halkbank of Turkey had already been designated to carry out the related transactions.
However, Indian officials cited problems in making payments to Iran in what they said was a result of the failure of European banks to proceed with transferring money to Iran over fear of sanctions.

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