U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging energy-starved India to reduce the amount of oil it imports from Iran to pressure the Islamic republic over its rogue nuclear program.
Speaking on a visit to the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, Clinton said: "India is certainly working towards lowering purchases of Iranian oil. We commend the steps they have taken thus far. We hope they will do even more."
Clinton will next travel to New Delhi to meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, amid concern that ties have been strained over Washington's efforts to pressure Iran.
The West believes Iran's nuclear program is aimed at making a weapon, while Tehran insists it is for peaceful purposes.
India could face U.S. sanctions by the end of June if the Obama administration determines it has not made significant cuts in Iranian oil imports.
Based on reporting by AFP and AP