BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Hillary Clinton's 3-day India visit is centered on pressuring India to cut further its oil imports from Iran. An overlapping visit from the Iranian trade delegation forced the country to walk a fine line while keeping its own interests in mind.
When Hillary waved to India as she touched down the nation, she was all smiles as she greeted and praised the nation. But top on her mind was a serious agenda to pressure India to cut its oil imports from Iran. US have been asking India to cut its oil imports from Iran. India gets 9 per cent of its oil from Iran and despite pressure from US, India has decided to stand firm.
Hillary Clinton, US Secretary State, said, "We also look at Indian as a partner in the broad international effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The best way to achieve this diplomatic solution that we all seek is for the international community to stay united and keep the pressure that has brought Iran back to the negotiating table on Iran until we reach a peaceful diplomatic resolution."
But India has immense energy needs and keeping world economic condition in mind, India has said it will do what suits its own economy.
Shweta Bajaj, New Delhi, said, "In all of Hillary Clinto's meetings in India from the Indian prime minister to Indian minister of external affairs, the topic revolved around Iran. But India said that United States needs to look at Iran and India's relationship, away from its crude oil and energy needs."
S.M. Krishna, Indian Ezternal Affairs Minister, said, "Iran remains an important source of oil for us although its share in our imports are declining and that is well known, ultimately it reflects the decision that refineries make based on financial, commercials and technical considerations."
Foreign affairs experts also believe that India should continue to do what’s best in its own interests.
Aijaz Ilmi, foreign affairs expert, said, "Our energy needs and requirement of fuel is ever increasing so wherever we can get fuel from at the right rates, India should look at its own interest."
The US secretary of state started her visit with Kolkata asking the West Bengal Chief Minister of the state to give her nod to foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. Mamata Banerjee was one of the main reasons why the Indian government put its FDI decision on back burner. Even as the secretary of state could not convince India to commit on cutting oil imports further from Iran, a negotiator will be in Delhi next week to take the pressure further.