'Iran Conflict to have disastrous consequences'
Arguing that any conflict in Iran would have disastrous consequences, India on Tuesday alleged that a series of recent media reports in the US have distorted New Delhi's foreign policy objectives and energy security needs.
"Unfortunately, though, a series of recent media reports have presented a picture which not only distorts India's foreign policy objectives and energy security needs, but also creates misunderstanding about its actions," the Indian Embassy spokesman Virander Paul said in a press statement.
It is one of the rare instances, when the Indian Embassy in Washington has issued an official statement in response to any news reports in the American media, which have questioned New Delhi's decision to continue oil trade with Iran.
These reports, Paul said, overlook the imperative of India's dependence on oil imports from Iran to serve the energy needs of its people, more than 400 million of whom do not as yet have access to commercial energy.
"Allusions in the media that India's overall oil imports from Iran are increasing just because its monthly uptake of Iranian oil reportedly increased in January this year are based on selective use of information, misrepresenting the fact that in aggregate terms, crude imports from Iran constitute a declining share of India's oil imports," the statement said.
"Nonetheless, given the imperative of meeting the energy needs of millions of Indians, an automatic replacement of all Iranian oil imports, is not a simple matter of selection, or a realistic option," it added.
Asserting that as a responsible member of the international community, India takes its obligations most seriously, the statement said, at the same time, it firmly believes that the situation concerning Iran should not be allowed to escalate into a conflict, the disastrous consequences of which will be in nobody's interest.