February 20th, 2012
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India import oil from Iran: ‘Slap in the face for US, can India lead’

nicholas-burnsWashington: US believes that India’s decision to import oil from Iran is a slap on US face. India relies on Iran for 12 percent of its oil imports and had decided to continue importing oil. US has been using its power to isolate Iran from the international community. His decision by India is a major set back to their scheme of events.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns reacting to this decision made by the Indian government wrote in The Diplomat that,“This is bitterly disappointing news for those of us who have championed a close relation with India. And it represents a major setback in the attempt by the last three American Presidents to establish a close strategic partnership with Successive Indian governments.”

“India’s decision to walk out of step with the international community on Iran isn’t just a slap in the face for the US – it raises questions about its ability to lead,” Burns added. According to him the Indian government’s ill-advised statement is a major setback for the U.S. attempt to isolate the Iranian government over the nuclear issue. “India’s recent pronouncements seem extremely out of step and out of touch with the new global determination to isolate and pressure Iran to negotiate in order to avoid a catastrophic war,” he said.

Criticizing the government he said, “For all the talk about India rising to become a global power, its government doesn’t always act like one. It is all too often focused on its own region but not much beyond it. And, it very seldom provides the kind of concrete leadership on tough issues that is necessary for the smooth functioning of the international system.”

According to Mr Burns though the “Indian government has supported the four UN Security Council resolutions passed since 2006 which says that Iran should give up its nuclear ambitions,  India hasn’t stepped up to a leadership role in the negotiations and has resisted the option of being a bridge between the Iranian government and the West”. He expressed discontent over the fact that India choose to adopt a “largely passive and even invisible” role on this critical issue.

Meanwhile, Brent crude hit an eight-month high in Asian trade today after Iran halted its limited oil sales to France and Britain with immediate effect. Iranian Oil Ministry spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad Rahbar said it has found new customers and will sell and export its crude oil to them. The move has come in retaliation for European Union ban on Iranian oil exports.

Analysts say it is a veiled warning to other EU nations that are heavily dependent on Iranian oil such as Italy, Spain and Greece. The move is being seen as a preemptive blow to the EU which slapped oil embargo on Iran set to begin fully in July. The 27 nation EU accounts for 18 percent of Iran’s Oil exports.


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