Washington: The Obama Administration has exuded confidence that it would comfortably sail through the challenging phase in its relationship with India on the issue of purchase of oil from Iran.
"We've worked through hard issues before with India, and we're looking forward to working through this one," the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.
Nuland said the US is talking to India along with other countries like China on reducing their dependence on Iranian oil.
"Our goal is to continue to work with India to encourage it to do what it can to reduce its dependence on Iranian crude. We will continue those discussions," she said.
"We have been saying for a number of weeks now, we're also working with oil producers who might be able to provide alternative sources of supply. This includes a number of countries around the world," Nuland said.
The State Department spokesperson said the US has been talking with countries around the world about the implications of the legislation with regard to its expectation that countries will increasingly wean themselves of dependence on Iranian oil.
"We're talking to India, we're talking to China, we're talking to countries in Europe, we're talking to countries in Asia and Africa, et cetera," she said.
"But I'm not going to give you a blow-by-blow of how these conversations are going with the individual countries, except that I think it's fair to say that in all of these conversations we share an objective, which is to increase the pressure on Iran," she said in response to a question.
On Monday, a former US diplomat who was Bush Administration's pointman on Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, wrote in an Op-ed in current-affairs magazine 'The Diplomat' that India's decision to continue importing Iranian oil was a setback for the US, which is galvanising the international community to isolate Tehran.
"This is bitterly disappointing news for those of us who have championed a close relationship with India. And, it represents a real setback in the attempt by the last three American Presidents to establish a close and strategic partnership with successive Indian governments," former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Mr Nicholas Burns, wrote.
First Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 08:58