WSJ: INDIA, IRAN’S LARGEST TRADING PARTNER, HELPS U.S. ISOLATE IRAN IN ABOUT-FACE
BETHESDA — Jay Solomon and Subhadip Sircar reported yesterday that officials at the Reserve Bank of India have “instructed the country’s lenders ... to stop processing current-account transactions with Iran using the ACU,” the Asian Clearing Union, which was “originally set up by the United Nations in 1974 to help facilitate trade in South Asia and headquartered in Tehran.”
US officials believe that the Iranians are using the ACU, based in their country, in order to help finance the Revolutionary Guard, a sprawling paramilitary/social services organization that is increasingly dominant in its economy, according to a 2009 study by the Rand Corp.
As Solomon and Sircar report further, “Major Indian energy companies, including Oil & Natural Gas Corp., have been exploring how to jointly develop energy resources with Iranian partners. India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. was a major supplier of gasoline to Iran, which lacks sufficient refining capabilities, before the international sanctions caused the company to pull back last year.”