Iran oil import: India not to come under pressure

New Delhi, May 9: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna Tuesday met US secretary of State Hillary Clinton in order to boost bilateral relationship and expressed satisfaction over the progress in economic relationship and hoped for it to grow faster.

The discussion covered range of issues such as security and economic development of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Asia Pacific, Indian Ocean region (IOR), China, Bangladesh, and commercial cooperation in civil nuclear energy,.

Krishna raised the issue of difficulties faced by professional, especially IT companies on mobility and protectionist sentiments in the U.S. with regard to global supply chain in services industry.

Both Krishna and Clinton urged Pakistan to make greater efforts to combat violent extremism.

Clinton underlined that Pakistan needs to ensure that its territory is not used as launching pads for terrorist attacks anywhere.

“Recent attacks in Kabul highlight once again the need for elimination of terrorist sanctuaries in the neighborhood and the need for stronger action from Pakistan on terrorism, including on bringing to justice the perpetrators of Mumbai terrorist attack,” Krishna averred.

Clinton expressed contentment in the progress in trade and investment between India and the U.S. “We have come a long way. When I first visited India in 1995, trade stood at nine billion dollars, and this year we expect to surpass 100 billion dollars,” she said.

Clinton lauded the India’s progress in reducing its purchases of oil from Iran, and expected further cut in oil imports to build pressure on Iran in order to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons but Krishna made it clear that Iran is a key country for India’s energy needs and it is an important source of oil for India and the decline in oil import is nothing but the result of decision by refineries on the basis of commercial, financial and technical considerations.

Krishna held that Iran had rights as a member of NPT, but it must also abide by its obligations as a non-nuclear weapons state under the NPT.

He reiterated that India’s position on the nuclear issue has been clear and consistent and that it pledges to implement the UN Security Council Resolutions.

Yesterday’s meeting was a preparatory step for strategic dialogue in June in Washington DC.

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