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Will sort out Iran oil issue with India: US

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.



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.

PTI

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