India is only speculating, scribe says
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily NewsIn his column in daily Hürriyet yesterday, Erdal Sağlam argued recent speculation Turkey’s Halbank is no longer interested in being a conduit for India’s oil payments to Iran could have been intentionally instigated by Indian oil refiners in a bid to force Iran to lower the price of its crude exports to India.
Since the news broke in the media, the state-run Halkbank has neither confirmed nor denied the report, but the bank has been allowing Indian oil refiners to pay for Iranian crude via its accounts since August last year.
“(India) might want to reduce the price they buy from Iran due to (recent) difficulties,” Sağlam said in his column.
“Halkbank, unlike its counterparts Vakıfbank or Ziraat Bank, does not have a branch in the United States. As banks with branches in the U.S., the latter are forced to comply with all the rules and regulations of the U.S. administration vis-à-vis its policies regarding Iran,” he said. “The bank had conducted all its transactions with Iran with the full knowledge of the U.S., the columnist added.