New Delhi: India on Thursday made it clear that the US pressure to reduce oil imports from Iran will not impact its "legitimate" trade ties with the "key country" for meeting its energy needs.
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, after talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, said while India abided by the UNSC resolutions on Iran, unilateral or regional sanctions tend to impact on the market in a globalised world.
"As far as other sanctions, those decided either unilaterally or regionally, we are aware of such measures. In a globalised world, such actions tend to impact on the market and our commercial entities take these into account. Such measures should not impact legitimate trade interests," he told reporters here with Salehi by his side.
The US, which has clamped economic sanctions on Iran in a bid to pressure it to roll back its controversial nuclear programme, has been urging India to cut its oil imports from the Persian Gulf country. Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes and it is not pursuing a weapons agenda.
"As far as the question of sanctions is concerned, let me say that the United Nations Security Council in its wisdom has passed resolutions on the issue and India has always abided by such resolutions of the Security Council as a responsible member of the international community," Krishna said.
Salehi said Iran has been a reliable partner for India on matters of energy security and will continue to be so.
"Iran I would like to stress here, is a reliable partner of India. It is a reliable source of energy for India. India is an emerging economic power and its energy demand is ever-increasing. And they should look for resources that are reliable and Iran is a reliable source for that matter," he said.
Salehi is in India as a Special Envoy of Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad to extend an invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit to be held in Tehran in August. He is scheduled to meet Singh tomorrow.
He also briefed Krishna on recent discussions between Iran and the P 5+1 in Baghdad on Tehran`s nuclear programme.
"India has always held that the nuclear issue should be resolved through peaceful diplomacy and the framework of the IAEA provides the best forum to address the technical aspects of the issue," Krishna said.
Salehi said India and Iran decided to hold the next Joint Economic Commission meeting in Tehran soon.
"We are hoping and looking into ways and mechanisms of raising this level of trade between India and Iran," he said.
On the importance of NAM, Salehi underlined the need for a voice for developing nations to speak for justice, fairness and equal share of management of world affairs.
"The importance of NAM, especially for countries in West Asia, lies in the fact that it could constitute a proper platform for expressing the joint views of these countries," he said pointing out that India was a founder of NAM.
Salehi said though NAM was introduced as a platform for political purposes it could now look into other aspects of inter-relationships between the members of NAM, aspects of economic cooperation, aspects of trade cooperation, scientific and cultural cooperation.
Asked about allegations against Iran in connection with the attack on an Israeli diplomat here in February, Salehi refuted them and said Iran need not bother itself on such charges.