Feb 06 2013
New York: Iran on Wednesday slammed as “hostile” new US sanctions aimed at preventing importers from buying Iranian oil using foreign currencies. The US sanctions, which took effect on Wednesday, will make it even tougher for Iran to get paid in cash for crude it sells to large oil buyers such as India and China.
“This is the latest ring in the series of hostile actions against Iran,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast.
“We are seeking methods to neutralise the new pressure,” he said, quoted by Mehr news agency.
The measures will compel Iran to engage in barter arrangements with importers of its oil.
“Iran since last year already has found it difficult to find enough Indian products it wants to buy with the rupees it is earning. That problem is likely to get worse as Tehran is forced to accept payments in local currency for its entire $10 billion crude exports to India,” reported The Wall Street Journal.
“Iran had planned to barter large quantities of Indian wheat in exchange for its oil. But the deal foundered due to fungal infections in India’s wheat crop, which pushed Tehran to back out of a plan to purchase around 3 million tons of the crop,” added the Journal.
Everything is far from smooth sailing, but Iran will probably work around the US sanctions by importing Indian food stuff, pharmaceuticals and health care products in lieu of hard cold cash.
India is likely to step up to the plate by sending Iran life-saving medicines as a lot of Western-made medicines are no longer shipped to Iran. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians with serious illnesses have been put at risk by Western sanctions, which have led to shortages of key chemotherapy drugs for cancer and bloodclotting agents for haemophiliacs.