By Geneva Sands - 05/07/12 04:36 PM EDT
"We think India, as a country that understands the importance of trying to use diplomacy to resolve these difficult threats, is certainly working toward lowering their purchase of Iranian oil and we commend the steps that they have taken thus far. We hope that they will do even more," Clinton said Monday.
India, which relies heavily on foreign oil to support its rapid growth, imports about 9 percent of its oil from Iran, though officials say that amount has been reduced in recent months, according to The Associated Press.
Clinton said European countries, along with Japan and China, are also being asked to lower their supply of Iranian oil to maintain pressure on Tehran.
The secretary of State praised Japan for reducing its oil ties with Iran, despite the energy hardships the island nation endured following the 2010 earthquake and tsunami.
"We do not believe that Iran would have come to the table if there had
not been sanctions and pressure. We do not believe that Iran will
peacefully resolve this unless the pressure continues," Clinton said.
Clinton pointed to increases in oil supply from countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia, saying there are alternatives for India.
In March, the Obama administration issued a formal determination that global oil supplies were sufficient to move ahead with toughened sanctions against Iran. The finding was a precursor to instituting sanctions against foreign banks that purchase Iranian oil, which are set to take effect as soon as June 28.