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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Iran is offering Asian oil buyers, including India, easier credit terms to lure more business and counteract tough Western sanctions aimed at restricting the OPEC member's principal export, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Tehran has been offering a handful of potential customers in Asia 180 days of free credit, the newspaper said quoting unnamed industry officials. Each month of credit amounted to a discount of roughly $1.2 to $1.5 a barrel.

Despite its generous terms, Iran was struggling to find new customers, the FT said.

The United States and European Union have tightened sanctions on Iran's oil trade as they seek to reduce the flow of petrodollars and to force Tehran to halt a nuclear program the West suspects is intended to produce weapons.

Saudi Arabia and other leading Middle East oil producers extend 30 days of credit, and Tehran in the past has allowed importers such as China to pay in 60 to 90 days. Iran's offer of longer payment periods amounts to a discount of about 7.5 percent per $118 barrel, the newspaper said.

(Reporting by Randy Fabi; Editing by Ed Davies)

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