Sri Lanka tea exporters say they hope the United States would agree to a mechanism to settle payments for oil imports from Iran with tea.
“We are very optimistic that the US would be intervening where Sri Lanka would be paid in US dollars for tea exports to Iran, where sanctions … prevent the Iranian tea importers to transact business in dollars,” said Rohan Fernando, the chairman of Sri Lanka’s Tea Exporters Association.
Fernando emphasized that it is difficult at present to regularize the tea trade with Iran due to the complications that the sanctions have created for conducting banking transactions.
Iranian banks, he said, are not allowed to deal with US dollars due to the sanctions. “They have to buy dollars from elsewhere to pay the Sri Lankan tea exporters,” Fernando has been quoted as saying by Sri Laka’s Ceylon Today newspaper.
Sri Lanka’s media reported last week that that the US has agreed to find a solution for settling tea trade between Iran and Sri Lanka. (Iran-daily)