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India waits for Iran to open oil payments route

KOLKATA, India - India is waiting for Iran to tell it how to make payments for oil allowed under last month's deal with global powers on sanctions and will pay in instalments, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor H.R. Khan said on Thursday.
Iran can now unlock $4.2 billion of payments for its oil stuck with major clients including India, China, Japan and South Korea after it reached an interim deal with six world powers in November over its nuclear program.
India, Iran's second-biggest customer after China, has been paying for 45 percent of its supplies in rupees and the rest used to be paid in euros through Turkey's Halkbank until sanctions tightened on that route too earlier this year.
Iranian officials have been in India this week looking at ways to unlock the payments.
"Whether the Halkbank route has been opened or not we are not sure," Khan told reporters on the sidelines of the central bank's board meeting here. "Going forward we will evaluate the proposal and see how best it can be done."
Halkbank has said it could resume payments once the Geneva deal becomes "official."
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