Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today reiterated in the city of Calcutta, India must cut its imports of Iranian crude as part of its obligations in the international community, local media reported.
Clinton, who yesterday began a three-day visit to the Asian giant, emphasized the need to press the regime in Tehran to review its nuclear policy, and that the position of countries like India is key to force this change of position .
“We think it is part of the role of India as a member of the international community,” said local agency IANS as Clinton, who stressed that Washington also called on China, Japan and some European countries to cut business with Tehran.
Iran is currently the second largest supplier of crude to India only after Saudi Arabia, but the Times of India pointed out in its Monday edition that the volume of Iranian oil imports has been reduced significantly in the last two years .
According to official sources quoted by this newspaper, in the last two years the Iranian oil purchases have dropped from 12% to the current 9% of total crude oil imported by India.
According to IANS, the White House sent recognized the efforts of New Delhi and recalled that “there is a sufficient supply to meet energy needs (from India)”, referring to other producers such as Iraq or Saudi Arabia.
Another of the highlights of Clinton’s agenda in India is putting pressure on local authorities to allow the entry of foreign capital in the retail sector, an area that holds great appeal for some major U.S. chains.
One of the main obstacles to the approval of the landing of foreign investors is opposed by the head of government of the eastern state of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, a leading political figures in India, with whom Clinton met today.
The head of U.S. diplomacy will continue to visit this day and tomorrow in the Indian capital, New Delhi, where he will meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Indian counterpart, SM Krishna.
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