India says it will continue importing Iran oil despite US sanctions to meet the country's dire need to energy.
The United States is mounting pressure on India to scale back its oil imports from Iran as part of Washington’s campaign to force Tehran into abandoning its nuclear energy program.
“There is adequate supply in the market for India to find adequate sources,” US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata.
This is while Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said on April 26 that India is bound by UN sanctions, but "unilateral sanctions imposed by countries or [a] group of countries shouldn't impact legitimate trade relations with Iran."
He said New Delhi crude oil imports from Tehran are guided by India’s energy needs.
The US imposed tough financial and oil sanctions against Iran in the beginning of 2012 in a bid to pile up pressure on Tehran over its nuclear energy program.
The US unilateral sanctions, slated to take full effect on June 28, seek to penalize other countries for importing Iranian crude.
The US and the EU claim that Iran's nuclear energy program includes a military component, and have used such claims as a pretext to impose international and unilateral sanctions against the country.
Tehran refutes their claims, saying frequent inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have failed to prove any diversion in Iran's nuclear energy program toward military purposes.