US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has lauded the steps taken by India to reduce its dependence on Iranian oil,saying New Delhi has put itself on the line to get Tehran back to the negotiating table.
“They have put themselves on the line to get Iran back into the P-5+1,” Clinton told the National Public Radio (NPR) in an interview when asked of India’s role in the Iran issue.
On being asked if India has any sort of role to play in passing messages to Iran,Clinton said “Absolutely”,adding New Delhi has an important role in conveying the message of the international community and its concerns to Iran.
“We know they have. I mean,we’ve asked them to; they have been conveying their concern about Iran’s behaviour.”
“They have made it very clear,publicly and privately,that Iran is not in any way entitled to a nuclear weapon. So they’re very much on the same page we are and they are working through this very difficult issue regarding oil. They’re making progress,” Clinton said.
Expressing satisfaction over the progress made by India on reduction of import of Iranian oil,she said India has certainly made progress in reducing their imports of crude oil from Iran.
“We appreciate the steps that India has taken,and we’re continuing to consult with them,” Clinton told CNN.
“Their refineries are cutting back. And they share our goal. And I’m convinced that Iran never would have come to the table for the serious negotiations that we are pursuing within the P-5+1 context had it not been for the tough sanctions,” she said.
“We know that this is hard for India,just like it’s been hard for some of the European countries that were very dependent upon Iranian oil,” Clinton said.