Japan is unlikely to be the "benchmark" for India when the Obama Administration initiates the process of deciding the fate of Iranian sanctions on dozen countries, which according to a US legislation need to "significantly" reduce dependence on oil from Iran.
"It's Apple and Oranges," a source familiar with the thinking of the Obama Administration on the issue said when asked if India should reduce its oil dependence on Iran by at least 15%, as was done by Japan.
Japan was one of the 11 countries, that included mostly those from Europe, which were exempted by the US from its Iranian sanctions legislations as it determined that these countries have "significantly" reduced their dependence on Iranian oil.
India and Japan can't be put in the same boat, both fall in different categories, the sources said, adding that the parameters set for Japan's "significant" reduction could not be the same for India. Japan made a commendable reduction of 15 to 22% in oil purchase from Iran despite being hit by the Tsunami and its nuke reactors being damaged.
In case of Delhi, Washington would be considering India's galloping energy needs, which are necessary to meet the demands of 1.2bn people and availability of alternate energy source.
Also India's important developmental role in Afghanistan, for which it has to rely on Iran, especially for its supply route, is also expected to be a factor, before the US makes a decision on India with regard to Iranian sanctions.