US will have more talks with India on Iranian crude

Washington: The US has said that it will have more consultations with India on New Delhi reducing dependence on Iranian crude. "There is more progress to be made and that`s what Carlos is talking about and we will have more on his consultations after they are complete," US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.

She was talking to journalists who asked her questions about the progress in the discussions US emissary on energy Carlos Pascual had with Indian officials in Delhi on Tuesday on the subject. Nuland said as the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said when she was in India "we are making progress". She was responding to a query on whether the US is impressed with what Indians have done to reduce the import of Iran oil.

The remarks comes against the backdrop of Indian government cutting its crude import target from Iran by 11 per cent to 15.5 million tonnes for this financial year as disclosed by Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R P N Singh in the Parliament on Tuesday. India depends on Iran for 12 per cent of its 80 per cent of imports of crude.

The Obama administration has been exerting pressure on different countries, including India, to bring down their Iran oil imports. Hillary Clinton, who was in India last week, stated that India needed to further reduce imports from Iran to win waiver from US sanctions. It has granted waivers to the sanctions for Japan and 10 European countries but has left out China and India, Iran`s biggest clients.