Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

If Scotland Says 'Aye': Polls Say Independence Referendum Too Close to Call (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Scottish referendum in the media

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Homosexuality in Africa: Kenyan movie debuts at Toronto Film Festival

Read more

DEBATE

If Scotland Says 'Aye': Polls Say Indpendence Referendum Too Close to Call

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Inger Andersen, Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, The World Bank

Read more

FOCUS

Scottish referendum: Should I stay or should I go?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Paris conference: A coalition against the Islamic State group

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Spies, doppelgangers and gay rights activists

Read more

Asia-pacific

Clinton presses India to reduce Iran oil imports

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-05-07

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged India to buy less oil from Iran, in a US bid to squeeze the sanction-hit Islamic republic until it proves its nuclear programme is peaceful.

AP - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged energy-starved India on Monday to reduce its Iranian oil imports to keep up pressure on the Islamic republic to come clean about its nuclear program.

Clinton told a town hall meeting in the eastern city of Kolkata that there’s an adequate supply in the market for India to find alternative sources of oil. Clinton noted India has taken some steps to reduce its imports from Iran but she says the U.S. wants to see more.

“If there weren’t an adequate supply ... we would understand, but we believe that there is adequate supply,” she said.

India could face U.S. sanctions by the end of June if the Obama administration determines it has not made significant cuts in imports under a law aimed at squeezing Iran’s petroleum industry to press the country to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.

India, with a growth rate of about 7 percent, has a nearly insatiable need for oil. About 9 percent of its oil imports are from Iran, though officials say it has reduced its dependency on Iranian oil in recent months.

“We appreciate what has been done and, of course, we want to keep the pressure on Iran,” Clinton said.

However, India remains dependent on the imports, and Iran is its second largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia. With international sanctions making it difficult to find banks willing to handle Iranian oil payments, India and Iran reached an agreement earlier this year that would allow India to pay for about 45 percent the purchases in rupees. Iran would then use the Indian currency to buy goods from India.

Clinton said the U.S. remained focused on putting global pressure on Iran.

“We believe, at this moment in time, the principle threat is a nuclear-armed Iran,” she said. “We need India to be part of the international effort.”

Clinton was also meeting Monday with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a key partner of India’s ruling coalition who has stymied government efforts to lift restrictions on foreign-owned investments in the country.

Clinton was expected to talk with Banerjee about allowing multi-brand retailers such as Wal-Mart to enter the market.

Last year, India’s Cabinet had to rescind a decision to open up its market to major foreign retailers after Banerjee balked at the move, saying it would crush small domestic retailers.

“I will certainly raise the United States’ desire to try to open the market to multi-brand retailers,” Clinton told the audience at the town hall. “I think there are a lot of benefits that may not be immediately perceived.”

Cinton will head to Delhi later Monday, where she is expected to press India to push ahead with its stalled economic reform program, even though the prime minister’s chief economic adviser said last month that no new reforms were likely before the next election in 2014.

 

Date created : 2012-05-07

  • DIPLOMACY

    Clinton arrives in India to revive diplomatic ties

    Read more

  • INDIA

    India joins elite club with test of long-range missile

    Read more

  • INDIA - PAKISTAN

    Indian PM hosts Pakistani president for talks in Delhi

    Read more

COMMENT(S)