Despite U.S. pressure, India appears dead set on continuing its oil imports from Iran -- and Washington's opposition just may be cementing ties between its age-old enemy and its latest "strategic partner".
According to the Times of India, India is considering a move that would allow Iran to invest in select Indian instruments as a way of avoiding the problems with currency conversion that have plagued New Delhi's oil purchases, as India fears that the U.S. may now take aim at Turkey -- which has been facilitating India's payments since Germany bowed out.
Under the proposed arrangement, Iran would receive payment in rupees, which it would then be allowed to invest in designated sectors such as oil and gas and also put the money in government securities. However, this would only be a partial solution, as it would allow Iran to earn a return on its money, but it would still need to converted to dollars or Euros at some point when Tehran wants to start cashing out.
On Sunday, Iran's official news agency said India had paid $5 billion for oil shipments and it will continue to pay for ongoing crude oil supplies, TOI said.