`India should cut down on oil import from Iran`

Republican Richard Grenell acknowledged India`s efforts towards minimising its dependency on Iran for its energy needs.

Updated: Aug 31, 2012, 11:47 AM IST

Tampa: Acknowledging India`s efforts towards minimising its dependency on Iran for its energy needs, a foreign policy expert of the Romney campaign has called for "more efforts" by New Delhi to reduce its oil imports from Tehran.

Noting that the issue was of "very serious priority" for the US, Republican Richard Grenell, a partner with Capitol Media Partners, said that the Obama administration should do more to convince India in this regard.

"We continue to support you (India) for a permanent seat on the Security Council, but you`ve got to do more in stopping the purchase of Iranian oil," he said, apparently underlining the need for India to cut imports for getting a US support for its permanent UNSC seat.

"I think although the Indians have tried to cut back, they need to do more," he said on sidelines of the ongoing party convention in Tampa.

"When it comes to India, obviously we work very closely with the Indians, especially at the UN. I have to say whenever we talk about India we always have to talk about permanent members of the Security Council, because I think that`s one of the issues that people really are trying to get at," he said.

He also cited how, during the Bush administration, the US was committed to get Japan a permanent seat in the Security Council but it couldn`t materialise.

"Now this administration has walked that back. There hasn`t been big support for the Japanese getting a permanent seat. However, President Obama has said that the current US policy would be that the Indians should get a permanent seat. I think that`s a big reward," Grenell said.

Grenell had briefly served as the national security spokesperson of the Romney campaign and in April this year, he became the first openly gay spokesman for a Republican presidential candidate, after he was hired by Romney.

He, however, resigned less than a week later. Grenell had also served as spokesperson of four US ambassadors to the UN the early 2000`s in New York.