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India in right direction on Iran oil import: US

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed satisfaction with the steps being taken by India to reduce its dependence on Iranian oil as being asked by the Obama Administration.

"With respect to India, they are making steps that are heading in the right direction. In fact, I think in a number of instances, the actions of countries and their banks are better than the public statements that we sometimes hear them making," Clinton told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing.

Clinton, however, said China, which is another major country being pushed by the US to reduce its dependence on Iranian oil, too has made progress.

India and China, two major buyers of Iranian oil, import 12 and 22 per cent of fuel from Tehran respectively.

"I think that we have made progress, not enough in my view. With respect to China, they have actually worked with us to prevent certain businesses within China from continuing their trade. They have reached out to the Saudis and others to determine ways to make up their loss of oil, if they cut what they receive from Iran," Clinton said.

"So we`re having very candid conversations with a number of countries, two of whom you named, to try to impress on them our seriousness about enforcing sanctions which will have very difficult consequences for them," Clinton said in response to a question from Congresswoman Nita Lowey.

A day earlier, testifying before another Congressional committee, Clinton said the US is having "very intense and very blunt" conversations with India, China and Turkey on reducing their dependence on Iranian oil.

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