The push back from the Iranians came as a surprise to India, which has enjoyed special dispensation from Tehran as one of only a handful of countries willing to do business with it while it faced Western economic sanctions.
The USD 233 million contract, signed last October, was for India's State Trading Corp (STC) to facilitate exports of rail tracks from SAIL Ltd and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd to Iran's railways. But Iran told Indian negotiators that it had offers from other countries, including Turkey, to supply the equipment at a cheaper cost, the sources said.
"They are no longer the same Iranians that came to us last year for signing the deal," the source said. "They were polite this time, but had an upper hand in the negotiations."
India has cut the value of the deal by about 7 percent to USD 217 million, the sources said. They added that they worry the Iranians may seek further cuts, and could split the order with other countries.
It was not immediately clear whether other countries that trade with Iran have seen a similar hardening in Tehran's stance. Oil refinery sources in Japan said they had not seen any change yet.

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