U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday applauded India's efforts to reduce its imports of Iranian oil but urged it to cut them further to keep pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program.
"We think India as a country understands the importance of trying to use diplomacy to resolve these difficult threats and is certainly working toward lowering their purchases of Iranian oil," Clinton said in Kolkata, the first stop on her visit to India. "We commend the steps they've taken thus far and hope they will do even more."
The United States and other Western countries are using economic pressure on Iran, particularly on its oil industry, to try to push Tehran into halting its nuclear program.
They have encouraged Asian countries like India, Japan and South Korea - key consumers of Iranian oil - to cut back their purchases.
U.S. officials say India has lowered the amount of oil it buys from Iran in recent months. But Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government is also wrestling with stubbornly high inflation and is wary of provoking upward pressure on prices.FULL STORY