FDI in multi-brand retail, which was cleared and then stalled by the Manmohan Singh government, Teesta water-sharing and India’s oil import from Iran were the main subjects US secretary of state Hillary Clinton touched upon on Monday before meeting West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Clinton reiterated the US position on pressuring India to reduce its oil import from Iran, which reportedly wants to build nuclear weapons.
“We do not believe that Iran would have come to the table if it was not sanctioned and pressured. The reason why India, China, European countries and Japan have been asked to reduce their oil imports from Iran (is) to keep the pressure on Iran.”
In recent years, Iran has been the highest oil exporter to India after Saudi Arabia.
Given the fact that Banerjee has opposed FDI in retail and the Teesta water-sharing agreement, which has not been signed, Clinton clarified that she was not overly interested in nudging the West Bengal chief minister on these issues.
“I want to hear from the CM about her vision for West Bengal. It’s not proper for me to push for (them),” she remarked during an interactive session.
With inputs from agencies