India warns against disastrous conflict over Iran



Washington: Warning that any attack on Iran would be disastrous for the region, India has said that a series of recent media reports in the US have distorted its foreign policy objectives and energy security needs.

"Unfortunately, though, a series of recent media reports have presented a picture which not only distorts India's foreign policy objectives and energy security needs, but also creates misunderstanding about its actions," Indian Embassy spokesman Virander Paul said in a press statement here.

It is one of the rare instances, when the Indian Embassy in Washington has issued an official statement in response to any news reports in the American media, which have questioned New Delhi's decision to continue importing oil from Iran.

These reports, Paul said, overlook the imperative of India's dependence on oil imports from Iran to serve the energy needs of its people, more than 400 million of whom do not as yet have access to commercial energy.

"Allusions in the media that India's overall oil imports from Iran are increasing just because its monthly uptake of Iranian oil reportedly increased in January this year are based on selective use of information, misrepresenting the fact that in aggregate terms, crude imports from Iran constitute a declining share of India's oil imports," the statement said yesterday.

"Nonetheless, given the imperative of meeting the energy needs of millions of Indians, an automatic replacement of all Iranian oil imports, is not a simple matter of selection, or a realistic option," it added.

India imports 12 per cent of its oil from Iran.

Asserting that as a responsible member of the international community, India takes its obligations most seriously, the statement said, adding it firmly believes that the situation concerning Iran should not be allowed to escalate into a conflict, the disastrous consequences of which will be in nobody's interest.

PTI