India, US on same page on Iran’s n-programme (Lead)May 8th, 2012 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) India and the US affirmed Tuesday that they were on the same page on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, though Tehran remains a key supplier of oil to meet New Delhi’s energy security needs.
This view was shared by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna during their bilateral meeting here and expressed at a joint press conference.
“The US and India share the same goal as far as to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And India is a strong partner in urging Iran to adhere to its international obligations,” Clinton, who is on a three-day visit to India, said after their talks.
Krishna, noting that he discussed the importance of a peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue, said it must be based on the position that Iran has its rights as a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“But it must also abide by its obligations as a non-nuclear weapon state under the NPT,” he said, asserting that “this issue, however, is not a source of discord” between India and the US.
Clinton said she looked at India as a partner in the increased international effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The best way to achieve a diplomatic solution that the international community seeks, she said, was to keep up the pressure that brought Iran to the negotiating table.
“We believe that Iran will not be at the negotiating table, unless there is unrelenting pressure of international sanctions. And the pressure must stay on if we want to see progress on a peaceful resolution,” she said.
Krishna said: “India subscribes to and rigorously implements” the UN Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear programme issue.
He said India has “a strong interest in a peaceful and negotiated settlement” of Iran’s nuclear programme issues and noted that its position “has been clear and remained consistent”.
“Iran is a key country for our energy needs. But we have to look at Iran issue beyond the issue of energy trade,” Krishna said, noting that he had conveyed India’s “vital stakes in peace and stability” in the Persian Gulf and wider West Asian region, given that six million Indians live and work there.
India has over $100 billion in trade with that region, apart from 60 percent of its oil imports and a major source of foreign remittances from there.
Pointing out that India’s oil imports were growing on an average of 10 million tonne annually, Krishna said India was dependent on Iranian imports to meet its energy requirements.
“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. Iran remains an important source of oil for us, although its shares in our imports are declining is well known,” he said.
The declining oil imports from Iran, he added, reflected the decision of the Indian refineries based on “commercial, financial and technical” considerations.
The Indian minister said he had discussed the Indian “position and objectives” on energy security with Clinton and that these discussions will continue.
Clinton said she welcomed the progress India has made in reducing its oil imports from Iran and expressed the hope that it will continue to make the progress.
“We believe that if the international community eases the pressure or wavers in its resolve, Iran will have less incentive to negotiate or to take necessary action to address the international community’s concerns on its nuclear programme,” she said.
“We commend India on the steps its refineries are taking to reduce imports from Iran. We have also been consulting India and working with it on some areas on alternative sources of oil. We have had a good discussion on this issues. We will continue these discussions, but there is no doubt India and the US have the same goal,” she added.
- US, India think alike on Iran: Clinton - May 08, 2012
- India, US send strong signals to Pakistan, Iran (Roundup) - May 08, 2012
- Iran, Pakistan on anvil as Clinton and Krishna meet (Afternoon Lead) - May 08, 2012
- US exempts India from Iran oil sanctions (Lead) - Jun 12, 2012
- 'No contradiction in India's ties with Iran, US' - Feb 07, 2012
- Pakistan must act against terror, says India - May 08, 2012
- US urges India to press Iran over nuclear issue (Lead) - Apr 02, 2012
- US exempts India from Iran oil sanctions (Second Lead) - Jun 12, 2012
- Amid sanctions pressure, Iran to pitch for expanded India ties - May 30, 2012
- US sending envoy to help India cut Iran oil imports - May 09, 2012
- India under pressure to cut oil imports from Iran: Clinton - May 07, 2012
- US seeks EU sanctions to force Iran back into talks - Jan 21, 2012
- Amid Western pressure, India, Iran seek closer economic ties (Roundup) - May 31, 2012
- US exempts seven countries from sanctions - Jun 12, 2012
- India seeks shale gas supplies from US - May 16, 2012
Tags: diplomatic solution, energy security, external affairs minister, hillary clinton, india share, international effort, international obligations, international sanctions, non proliferation treaty, nuclear issue, nuclear non proliferation, nuclear non proliferation treaty, nuclear weapon state, peaceful resolution, peaceful settlement, preventing iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, security council resolutions, un security council, un security council resolutions, unrelenting pressure