The United States Secretary of State, Ms Hillary Clinton, on Monday said that reducing its oil imports from Iran is “a part of India's role in the international community” to ensure that Iran did not acquire nuclear weapons. She commended India for the steps it had already taken.

“We commend India for what it has done. We believe it will do more,” she said in an interactive session at a city school.

Ms Clinton said that there was “international consensus” on the imposition sanctions on Iran and “the pressure has brought Iran to the negotiating table.”

“The reason why India, China and Japan and European countries which are the primary buyers of Iran's oil are being asked to lower their supplies is to keep the pressure on Iran,” she said pointing out that Japan has worked hard to cut back on its oil imports from Iran despite the devastating Tsunami that struck the country and shut down its nuclear programme.

On being asked if the US was unhappy with India's response, she said: “It has moved and we are encouraged by what we have seen.”

She said that countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq had increased oil exports and there was “adequate supply” in the market.

“If there was not adequate supply in the market, if there was not the ability for India to go into the market and meet its needs we would understand that, but there is adequate supply,” she said.

(This article was published on May 7, 2012)
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