The United States today hoped that India would join other countries of the world in importing less oil from Iran.
At the same time it gave green signal to India to continue trade of food items and other humanitarian trade with Tehran, noting that these do not come under the purview of sanctions.
"We've said regularly that our own sanctions are not designed to prevent food, medical equipment, those kinds of things going to Iran," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference.
"What we are concerned about is cutting off the lifeline that fuels the regime's nuclear program. So that's why the sanctions are focused primarily on trying to dry up the market for Iranian crude," she said.
Nuland said the US has been in dialogue with India on this issue and it continues.
"With regard to the implications of this new legislation, our hope that India will join other countries around the world in importing less crude from Iran, that's a different matter than regular humanitarian trade among neighbors," she said.
India imports 12 million barrels of crude oil every month from Iran, which is the nation's second-largest supplier after Saudi Arabia