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US diplomat misquoted on India's efforts on Iran oil

world Updated: May 16, 2012 12:47 IST

A top US energy diplomat was misquoted by Reuters news agency in suggesting that he was "not too impressed" with India's efforts to cut its imports of oil from Western sanctions-hit Iran.

"What he actually said was, 'I am not doing press today,' not 'I am not impressed.'" State department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the reported remark of Carlos Pascual, the State Department's special envoy for international energy issues.

"Reuters did fix this, I believe, and issued a retraction," she said.

Pascual, who is in New Delhi "with his team to talk about the whole complex of energy issues with India, including our work to reduce different countries' dependence on Iranian oil, Nuland said "was misquoted by a reporter."

"It was a mess-up. He is not planning to speak about his consultations until they're completed," she added.

Asked if the US was "impressed" or "unimpressed" with what the Indians have done in reducing their dependence on Iranian oil, Nuland said as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during her recent India visit, "we are making progress, there's more progress to be made."

"And that's what Carlos is talking about, and we'll have more on his consultations after they're complete.

India meanwhile announced that it was cutting Iran oil imports by 11%. The announcement was made in Parliament on Tuesday by minister of state for petroleum RPN Singh.