Despite U.S., India and Iran Maintain Relations
"India is clearly making an effort to reduce its dependence on Iran, and this is recognized by the U.S.," said Harsh V. Pant, an India specialist at King’s College in London, in an e-mail. "But domestically, the Indian government cannot be seen to be buckling under any sort of U.S. pressure. So there is a lot of talk of expanding trade ties with Iran."
Mrs. Clinton’s visit to India was the last stop in an Asian tour that began in China. Her agenda in China was overtaken by the plight of the blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, but Mrs. Clinton also spoke to Chinese leaders about their progress on reducing oil purchases from Iran.
In New Delhi, Mrs. Clinton discussed Iran and other issues with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while also meeting with Sonia Gandhi, president of the governing Indian National Congress Party. On Tuesday, she used a brief news conference to praise India as “a strong partner,” adding that India and the United States share a common goal of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
"We commend India for the steps its refineries are taking to reduce its dependence on imports from Iran," she said. "And we have been consulting with India, and working with them on some areas on alternative sources of supply. There’s no doubt that India and the United States are after the same goal."
More: Can India Balance Its Ties with the U.S. and Iran?