Export chief: Iran to pay rupee for India imports

NEW DELHI - Indian exporters will be able to receive payments in the restricted rupee currency for sales to Iran within two weeks, the chief of India's top exporters' body said on Friday, as New Delhi puts a mechanism in place to maintain trade despite US sanctions.
About $3 billion in Iranian import arrears have accumulated since December 2010, M. Rafeeque Ahmed said, when a previous payment conduit was closed under pressure from Washington, which is using sanctions to try to stop Tehran's suspected nuclear program.
"The government has told us the mechanism for payment in rupee (to Indian exporters) will be in place in two weeks' time," Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations, told Reuters in an interview.
"Between December 2010 and January 2012 we have sent goods worth about $3 billion and almost all of it is stuck."
Ahmed is taking part in government negotiations to find a solution to the payment problems that have hit trade between the two countries after US sanctions on dollar deals. His organization is a quasi-government body set up by the trade ministry.
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