India Grants Extension to Iranian Ship Insurers
India has extended approval to two Iranian insurers to cover container and tanker vessels calling at Indian ports by a year to June 25, a government notification said, in a move that will aid oil imports from Tehran.
The previous six-month extension to Kish P&I Club and Qeshm International Trust Alliance P&I, formerly known as Qita P&I Club, lapsed on June 26.
The extension will help India receive its crude imports from Tehran in Iranian vessels, while exports of non-oil commodities and industrial goods are largely handled by vessels operated by Hafez Darya Arya Shipping Co.
India, the world's fourth-biggest oil consumer and Iran's top client after China, shipped in 66 percent more oil from Tehran in May from a year ago.
European Union sanctions against Iran from July 1, 2012, bar members of Europe-based International Group (IG) of Protection and Indemnity (P&I) - which account for the majority of cover for the tanker market - from insuring Iranian oil and other shipments, leading to the emergence of new, untested insurance providers.
Iran, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany are trying to end a more than 12-year standoff over Tehran's nuclear program by striking an agreement to halt Iranian nuclear work in return for sanctions relief.
The West says Iran is seeking to build weapons but Iran says its nuclear program is to produce power.
Negotiators from all sides are gathering in Vienna in the hopes of striking a deal by a self-imposed deadline of Tuesday.