US, India call for Pakistani terror crackdown
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
NEW DELHI (AP) — The United States and India on Tuesday called for Pakistan to do more to stop terrorism and pledged to keep up pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.
However, the two countries remained divided over the future of India’s large oil imports from Iran, which the U.S. wants to see drastically reduced to put pressure on Tehran to negotiate over its nuclear program.
“We don’t believe Iran would be back at the negotiating table unless there had been the unrelenting pressure of international sanctions. And this pressure must stay on if we want to see progress toward a peaceful resolution,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a press conference in the Indian capital.
About 9 percent of India’s oil imports come from Iran, and though it has reduced those imports recently, it could still face U.S. sanctions next month if Washington determines it has not done enough under a law aimed at pressuring Iran to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.
India’s foreign minister, S.M. Krishna, said Iran must live up to its obligations to remain free of nuclear weapons, but said it remains “a key country for our energy needs.”
“It remains an important source of oil for us although its share of our imports is declining,” he said, adding that discussions on the issue between the U.S. and India would continue.
India and Iran reached an agreement earlier this year to find a way around international sanctions that make it difficult to pay for the oil. Under the agreement, India would pay for about 45 percent of the purchases in rupees and Iran would use the Indian currency to buy goods from India.