U.S. working with India on Iran oil replacements: Clinton

Reuters News
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Posted: May 08, 2012 2:46 AM
U.S. working with India on Iran oil replacements: Clinton

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The United States is working with India to secure alternative sources of crude supply to Iran, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a news conference on Tuesday, as Washington pressures its allies to reduce oil imports from Tehran.

Carlos Pascual, the U.S. negotiator who has been pressing Iran's customers to cut imports, would visit India next week to discuss the issue. On Monday, Clinton said the United States was encouraged by steps India had already taken to cut but that "even more" was needed.

As Tehran's second-biggest crude customer, India is crucial to U.S. efforts to squeeze Iran's economy until it agrees to curb its nuclear program, which the United States and other Western nations suspect is a cover to build atomic weapons.

(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)