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Updated: June 12, 2012 15:59 IST

Attempt to paint India in negative colour on Iran: Nirupama

PTI
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Indian Ambassador to U.S. Nirupama Rao speaks during a reception in Washington. File photo
PTI
Indian Ambassador to U.S. Nirupama Rao speaks during a reception in Washington. File photo

India has said that there is an attempt to paint it in negative colour on the issue of importing oil from Iran, arguing that it needs enormous energy for its 1.2 billion people.

“Somehow there has been, sorry to say this, some attempt, I don’t know for whatever reasons, to paint India in very negative colours,” Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao told a select audience here at the Atlantic Council -- a think-tank -- while responding to questions on importing Iranian oil.

Ms. Rao asserted that India has been transparent on this issue with international partners given its enormous energy security needs.

There is no attempt by India, as is being alleged in certain quarters, to “camouflage payment” of its oil imports from Iran, she argued.

“India has been extremely upfront and has been able to engage in a very frank dialogue with all our partners on this issue,” Ms. Rao said.

“There are energy security needs for India, but we understand there are certain constraints about importing oil from Iran. We are certainly cognizant of those realities. Obviously the amount of oil, we import from Iran has come down,” she said.

“We are a net oil importing country. About 75 per cent of our oil is imported. Iran has been one of our traditional suppliers and many of our refineries are catered to process Iranian crude. But the circumstances today have become more and more difficult for any country to import crude from Iran,” she said.

“We are also cognizant of US concerns, and have remained closely engaged on the Iranian issue. Crude imports from Iran have a steadily declining share in India’s total oil imports -- dropping from a level of over 16 per cent in 2008-09 to almost 10 per cent in 2011-12, and these are expected to decline further in 2012-13,” Ms. Rao said.

In her remarks, Ms. Rao said India believes that while Iran has rights to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, it must simultaneously and rigorously fulfil the treaty obligations which it has acceded to.

“We have consistently maintained that Iran must cooperate with the IAEA to address and resolve all outstanding issues that continue to raise doubts in the minds of the international community. India has scrupulously adhered to the multilateral sanctions against Iran as mandated by the United Nations,” she said.

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I am absolutely against India mortgaging its economic and security concerns at the behest of a foreign government particularly the US. We are an independent sovereign nation with our own independent policies. Of late the UPA government seems to be bending over backwards to please the US. Past history has shown that any country which has allied itself too closely with the US has suffered tremendously. A prominent example of this is our own neighbour, Pakistan.
We must realise that the US has for the past several decades followed a policy of global domination for furthering its own economic and security concerns.
I strongly feel that the UN is also unable to resist the pressures of the rich and powerful West.It was shameful for the UN to support the American invasion of Iraq. The sanctions imposed against Iran are another example of the global community succumbing to American pressure.
The world leaders should realise that a Unipolar world will only result in the impowerishment of count

from:  Umesh Bhagwat
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 11:07 IST

I do not understand that some commentators here are saying that Nirupama Rao is brave in her comments. It is not only timid but shameful for a country with the stature of India. On one side there are the interests of the US and its cronies and they do not care if others die for these interests. If India does not stand up against US today, it will be the slave of US wishes ever after.

from:  Muhtia
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 23:34 IST

I have lived in United States for 39 years and one thing about the
govt.here is it behaves like an Empire with scant regard for the needs
of other countries. Only country which throws it weight on America is
Israel and the political class is scared of the Israeli lobby. If India
is going to be a significant power and earn the respect of America and
the rest of the world is to be firm about it s own economic interests.

from:  Amar Kumar
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 20:59 IST

Because of U.S. India is forced to cut the oil import from Iran. Unfortunately, we do not have any other choice. Either we reduce the imports or face sanctions. We cannot afford to have acrimonious disputes with U.S.. We faced some at the time of Pokhran test, because of which we were forbided from transfer of nuclear technology. After a lot of struggle, India has bagged the nuclear deals with developed countries. So, no point of being in a situation where we are forced some more sanctions. Agreed or not, but we have to have in agreement with U.S on each and every issue, if we have to survive. It is because of their support only, that none other than China had a problem with India, when DRDO launched AGNI 5 and one more spy satellite.

from:  Puneesh
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 20:56 IST

In US - Republicans are targeting Democrat - especially Obama for hike in all the commodities including petrol. I wonder if US is so sensitive about the gas price's how can they force other countries to boycott their import source. Can India - go back to 16% import from Iran to bring down the gas prices - stating that that's what important for their economy.

from:  Shailendra Pitre
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 20:31 IST

INIDIA you are becoming a superpower! ACT LIKE ONE! Be more assertive like the
Chinese!

from:  Shah
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 16:17 IST

Very balanced view with attempting dare spirit Nirupama Rao has
presented the India's stand on the issue of importing Iranian Oil.Much
awaited and expected important comments came(at the stage of Atlantic
Council-lesser Known forum but greater statement)from India in this
matter.American Cold war type(without any challenger-like
Russia)strategy want to create an arena where both the fighters and
referee would be america.But India Knows thing clearly before
happening the Mahabharata(Epic war)in this arena(like Krishna)our
stand should be balanced and final stand should keep secret.

from:  Deepak.Ratnani
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 15:37 IST

I do not understand why we are on the defense. Our job is to safeguard
our interests, ie. the interest of India and the people. Will the
Americans and the Europeans listen to us and act when we have a problem
with certain countries, especially with Pakistan ( a safe haven for
terrorists. It is a shame that,our diplomats and Govt are always have a
policy of pleasing others than standing firm on protecting whta is
needed for India.

from:  George
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 12:39 IST

Iran has been a friend of India since Nehruvian times. Much water has flown done the Euphrates and Tigris. India must stand up like this and project its energy needs. There is traditional enmity between US and Israel with Iran. We do not want to take sides. But our legitimate energy needs need immediate attention.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 12:12 IST

This message had to be sent out to the United Stated publicly and when
the opportunity came Ambassador Mrs. Rao made the best of it. The US
has been putting pressure on India apparently without understanding
our difficulty to abide by the sanctions being put on Iran with regard
to trade. Though Iran is not the only country in the world exporting
oil, sourcing crude from other country will require us to upgrade or
replace our existing refineries as they are geared to process Iranian
oil. Apart from that, maintaining a workable relations with them will
spin off some dividends in other areas like providing access to
Afghanistan. Mrs. Rao has conveyed the message very well. May we now
expect the US to stop railing about India's import and understand our
situation as it appears to do when it comes to China?

from:  Mukul Dutta
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 11:46 IST

It was, perhaps, something that Ambassador Rao could not openly speak
about being a diplomat, but The New York Times, a newspaper that is
known for its very close ties to the Obama Administration and to the
Democratic Party in general, has been carrying article after critical
article about India buying oil from Iran. The newspaper has been
offering a nudge-nudge, wink-wink suggestion to Washington that, at
the very least, India be read a riot act for its Iran business, and at
worst, that India be punished as well. Considering how The New York
Times has been the Obama Administration's voice on a number of
difficult international issues including the decision to join the war
in Libya, the decision to open "peace talks" with the Taliban and
Hizb-e-Islami and the related decision to remove Mullah Omar and
Gulbuddin Hikmatyar from the FBI's "Most Wwanted" list, India had well
be prepared to face considerably more heat from Washington on Iran.

from:  Mehul Kamdar
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 11:15 IST

she has gone pro-american she is not the same Mrs Rao

She should understand she is the ambassador for 1billion people to US.

Is US paying RS.7 hike on petrol from US coffers.

Regret to hear or read.

from:  anwer
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 11:05 IST
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