India owes Iran $8.8 billion which is blocked in a bank account under the US-led sanctions regime, Governor spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht has said.
The money has piled up as India has kept purchasing oil from Iran under a nuclear agreement which allows the Islamic Republic to sell around one million barrels per day of crude.
Much of Iran’s oil money is trapped in bank accounts abroad and Nobakht says their release is tied to the removal of economic sanctions.
Iran’s negotiators are currently engaged in rigorous talks with the West to get rid of the sanctions which the country deems “unjust” and “tyrannical”.
“The world arrogance and superpowers seek to humiliate and sanction Iran and divide the nation, but this plot will be neutralized with people’s vigilance,” IRNA quoted Nobakht as saying in the Iranian city of Shahr-e Kord.
On Thursday, media reported that the Indian ambassador to Tehran had gone to the Ministry of Petroleum to discuss possible repatriations of the Iranian money.
India is a major trade partner of Iran but New Delhi should struggle for getting favorable reviews from Tehran if the situation normalized.
Many Iranian analysts believe the Indians are playing both ends in trade with Iran.