India tells US that Iran an important oil source

By AFP
Published: May 8, 2012

India insists Iran remains an "important source of oil".

NEW DELHI: India said Tuesday it shared the United States’ goal of preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon, but insisted the Islamic republic remained an “important source of oil”.

Visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged India to reduce its imports of Iranian oil, while a new US law will next month slap sanctions on nations that buy oil from Tehran.

India, which depended on Iran for 12% of its imports last year, says it has cut Iranian imports substantially despite initially insisting it would not join US and European-led efforts to choke off Tehran’s oil revenues.

“We have a strong interest in a peaceful and negotiated settlement of issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme,” Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna told a joint news conference with Clinton.

Krishna acknowledged that Iran “remains an important source of oil for us” and said of the reductions: “Ultimately, it reflects the decision that refineries make based on commercial, financial and technical considerations.”

“This issue is not a source of discord between our two countries,” he insisted.

India, which is heavily dependent on energy imports, remains the largest single buyer of Iranian oil.

Clinton commended India for reducing imports of Iranian oil and said that the United States was discussing with India how to find alternative sources for energy needs.

“The United States and India share the same goal: we both want to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” Clinton said, calling India a “strong partner”.

Clinton said that Carlos Pascual, the US point man on Iranian oil, would visit India next week for follow-up talks.

Under a new law, the United States will impose sanctions starting on June 28 on banks from countries that keep buying Iranian oil. The State Department has already exempted European Union nations and Japan.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • khalsa
    May 8, 2012 - 9:07PM

    when hillary clinton was in delhi india was hosting 56 member delegation from iran to boost trade ties in non-oil sector which do not come under the sanctioned entities. iranian traders pledged to import 5 billion dollars worth of indian goods in coming year

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  • abdul karim
    May 9, 2012 - 12:33AM

    now india is under us command.

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  • Ishtiaq
    May 9, 2012 - 1:22AM

    so Hilary’s remarks against Pakistan has gone in vain. so sad

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    May 9, 2012 - 3:30AM

    Carlos will recommend that alternate sources of oil not possible and India should be exempted from the embargo like EU and Japan. In exchange NATO cargo will go to Afghanistan via Iran.

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  • Cautious
    May 9, 2012 - 4:01AM

    @abdul karim:
    That was a given. This is strictly business and this is how it is done. No friends, only interests and we make sure our’s come first.

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  • Mehdi Hassan Zafari
    May 9, 2012 - 10:23AM

    @ Cautious

    Why does India need a Nuclear bomb??

    As far as I know, India is a peaceful neighbor and has no desires of stealing and grabbing land … wonder what happened to Sikkim’s sovereignity!

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  • Shyam
    May 9, 2012 - 11:29AM

    @Mehdi Hassan Zafari
    So that Pakistan and China do not use it on us. People in Sikkim are very happy being Indians, unlike the Baloch

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  • j. von hettlingen
    May 9, 2012 - 2:22PM

    India and Iran have a long history of good relations. What would India get in return from the U.S. for being cooperative? A permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council?

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  • Hamid Javaid
    May 9, 2012 - 4:54PM

    It seems that fiat of India is same as she has started dating and dancing with USA as Pakistan did to break USSR and suppress India. Divorce is the last resort in this relationship. To me only regional countries can live and dance to gather if their political leadership cares about its people and leave behind heartbreaking memories.

    Heartbreaking memories is the only thing with which USA is playing for its interests in this region and keep this region as volatile as it can so people no longer think to development and have good relations among in this region. A smile at each other in a day keeps the USA and destruction away.

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