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KUWAIT, April 17 (Reuters) - India continues to receive normal shipments of oil from Iran and discussions between the two countries are ongoing over how India will pay for its crude imports, the country’s oil minister said on Sunday.
India has been searching for a permanent method to make payments to Iran for crude oil imports since its central bank scrapped a clearinghouse system in December.
“Iran has kindly continued shipments of oil and we’re looking at ways for the payments ... we are looking at options now,” said Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S. Jaipal Reddy.
India stopped making the payments earlier this month via a Hamburg-based bank handling international trade for Iranian companies.
The use of the German bank had drawn strong disapproval from the United States, which suspects Iran is using its oil money to fund a nuclear weapons program.
Iran says its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes.
Washington had praised the Indian central bank’s move, which came little more than a month after U.S. President Barrack Obama visited India. [ID:nLDE7340TB]
Asked whether India may make its payments to Iran through banks in Turkey or the United Arab Emirates, Reddy said: “we are still in talks about how the payments will be made.”
Editing by Bernard Orr