New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Amidst pressure from the US on India to cut its oil imports from Teheran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek further expansion of bilateral ties and to extend an invitation for the scheduled Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit meeting later this year.
According to informed sources, Ahmedinejad called up Manmohan Singh Monday, a week after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was here to impress upon India to cut its oil imports from Iran, in view of the sanctions imposed by countries like the US over Teheran’s nuclear weaponisation.
The Iranian president is said to have informed Manmohan Singh that his Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi would visit New Delhi soon to present his personal invitation for the NAM summit.
Their telephonic conversation revolved around whole gamut of the bilateral relations and other global issues, they said.
India has over the last three or four years reduced its oil imports from Iran, based on its refineries’ assessment of technical and commercial considerations.
In 2008-09, India imported 21.8 million tonnes of crude, which came down to 21.2 million tonnes in 2009-10, 18.50 million tonnes in 2010-11 to 17.44 million tonnes in 2011-12. The target for 2012-13 has been fixed at 15.5 million tonnes.