India believes sanctions on Iran are counterproductive, the government told Parliament on Tuesday in the first public articulation of the government’s views on U.S. efforts to tighten the screws on the Islamic Republic.

The statement was made in response to a question about whether Washingtion had objected to Indian gasoline sales to the Islamic Republic.

In a written answer to the Rajya Sabha, Jatin Prasada, the junior minister for petroleum and natural gas, said Reliance Industries Ltd was the only Indian company to supply petrol to Iran in 2009. “The U.S. government has not raised the matter [of Reliance exports] with the Government of India”, he said.

But the minister added that the Indian government “has conveyed to the US government that sanctions on Iran have proved to be counter-productive and that all differences with Iran should be resolved peacefully through dialogue and negotiation.”

Due to shortage of refining capacity, Iran, which is one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil, imports a substantial amount of refined products for domestic consumption.

The U.S. is currently trying to drum up international support for the imposition of U.N. sanctions on petrol and diesel sales to Iran as a means of putting pressure on Tehran’s nuclear energy programme.

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