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US fully understands India's oil dependence on Iran: Krishna

June 14, 2012 11:14 IST

OilIran has been an important source of fulfilling India's oil requirements and United States 'fully understands' it, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said here two days after his American counterpart issued waiver to India from Iranian Sanctions Act.

"They (US) fully understand India's position that we are looking for our energy support from wherever we have been getting our crude oil supplies. Iran has been one of the important sources of fulfilling India's oil requirements," Krishna told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.

"Even though it is coming down because of international situations, we are looking at other countries like Saudi Arabia to look into our energy needs," Krishna said.

Krishna emphasised that India takes decision taking into consideration its domestic energy requirements.

Earlier at a separate joint news conference with Krishna at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, Clinton said the two leaders worked through some of the issues that they have fielded in common because of the concerns about Iran's continuing search for a nuclear weapon.

"India has made it clear that, you know, Iran, like all countries, must live up to their international obligations.

"And as I reported to Congress this week, India has taken steps to diversify its sources of

imported crude by reducing purchases of Iranian oil," she said.

"We recognise the important energy needs that India has, and we're working with India not only to ensure stable oil markets, but to do more to open up other sources of energy for India," Clinton said.

During the Strategic Dialogue while Clinton updated Krishna on the P-5 plus one talks with Iran, the External Affairs Minister conveyed to the Secretary of State, India's vital interest in settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue.

"There are six million Indians who live in this region, which is also of particular importance to our economy," he said.

Meanwhile, in an op-ed in ethnic India Abroad newspaper, released by the State Department on Wednesday, Clinton wrote that India understands the importance of denying Iran a nuclear weapon and supports efforts to ensure Iran's compliance with its international obligations.

"India has taken steps to diversify its sources of imported crude by reducing purchases of Iranian oil.

"At the same time, the US recognises India's energy needs, and we're working together, along with other partners around the world, to ensure stable oil markets that can meet global demand," she said.

"That's what a good partnership is all about -- respecting each other's interests and needs and working to find mutually-acceptable approaches to common challenges," Clinton said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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