(LinkAsia: May 11, 2012)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is continuing her Asian tour with a stop in India, but she's not getting much cooperation there. The United States is asking India not to buy oil from Iran. The oil embargo is to force Iran to halt its nuclear program, but Iran is the biggest supplier of oil to India. And as NHK reports, they're not likely to stop doing business together any time soon.
NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: May 8, 2012
Hillary Clinton's visit to India comes less than two months before additional sanctions against Iran go into force. The United States has outlined new sanctions against Iran in response to Iran's nuclear program. But so far, India, which imports about 10 percent of its oil from Iran, has shown no intention of following Washington's lead. One factor at play is the importance of energy security seen by the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a crucial element of India's economic growth. Clinton emphasized that the US is ready to provide expert advice on how India can diversify its sources of oil. In line with its sanctions against Iran, Washington is hoping that India will agree to reduce imports from Iran.
Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State:
We commend India for the steps its refineries are taking to reduce imports from Iran. There is no doubt that India and the United States are after the same goal.
While India is not prepared to join western sanctions, curbing oil imports from Iran would motivate the country to diversify its sources of oil leading to greater energy security.
S.M. Krishna, Indian Foreign Minister:
Given our growing demand, it is natural for us to try and diversify our sources of imports of oil and gas to meet the objective of energy security.
India is keen to avoid further economic slowdown caused by the European debt crisis. On the other hand, the United States wants to make sanctions against Iran as effective as possible. Clinton and Krishna are said to meet again in Washington in June. The search for a compromise over Iranian oil imports is likely to continue until just before the sanctions begin.
Hillary Clinton held up Japan as the example for India to follow. Japan has successfully reduced its oil imports from Iran by about 20 percent.