U.S. Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton wants India to further reduce its oil imports from Iran.
On her visit to India, according to Reuters, Clinton called on that country to embrace more closely the U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.
At a meeting in Calcutta, Clinton said: “So we think India, as a country that understands the importance of trying to use diplomacy to try to resolve these difficult threats, is certainly working toward lowering their purchase of Iranian oil."
India, the second-largest consumer of Iranian oil exports, has tried to skirt U.S. sanctions on countries that buy Iranian oil.
India had announced opposition to Western sanctions on Iranian oil; however, it appears that Indian companies have reduced their purchase of Iranian oil by 15 to 20 percent.
The U.S. Foreign Secretary said: “We commend the steps they have taken thus far. We hope they will do even more.”
Clinton added: “If there were not the ability for India to go into the market and meet its needs, we would understand that. But we believe there is adequate supply and there are ways for India to continue to meet its energy requirements.”
In the next two months, said Clinton, the United States will decide whether India can be exempt from punitive measures linked to sanctions on Iranian oil.