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US lauds India’s support on Iran sanctions

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has lauded India for being "very supportive" in many respects on the issue of sanctions against Iran.

Washington: US Treasury Secretary Timothy
Geithner has lauded India for being "very supportive" in many respects on the issue of sanctions against Iran.

Geithner, in response to questions from lawmakers, said US
was working with countries like India, China and Russia to
further tighten these international sanctions against Iran.

"Working very closely with them, and they have -- India
has been working with us on this, very supportive in many
respects on the financial side in particular. But it`s not
just those. We`re working with Turkey, with India, Russia --
countries around the world," he said.

"I wouldn`t want to be optimistic. I think they share our
basic recognition that their interests also would be affected
by Iran successfully acquiring the capacity to produce a
nuclear weapon, and therefore they have a strong interest
themselves to join with us on that front," Geithner said.

"Based on our conversations, my sense is they`ll continue to work with us," he said.
On the broader sanctions, America has been very successful
over the last few years and months in dramatically tightening
the international sanctions on Iran, Geithner told lawmakers
at a Congressional hearing.

"The most areas where you see that today are in the
announcements made by a number of countries to significantly
reduce the amount of oil they purchase from Iran. But in
addition to that, a number of countries not just in Europe
have dramatically tightened the level of broader financial
interactions they have with Iran to finance trade with Iran.

"And the combined effect of those things, we believe, has
been very significant economic effects reported all the time.
Of course the ultimate test will be the one you said, which
is: Are these sanctions, as tough are they, are going to be
effective in deterring Iran in pursuing these nuclear
ambitions?" he said.

The SWIFT announcement by the Europeans is part of that.
What the Europeans did is to convince SWIFT to stop providing
those financial services to the banks designated by the
European governments. That is an appropriate and powerful act,
the US official said.

"On the bank side, we oppose and have worked against any
lending by the World Bank to Iran. The last loan was approved
in 2005 over our objection. Iran now is repaying the bank,
receives no net disbursements from the bank. I believe the
bank is fully complying with all UN resolutions in this
context," he said.


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