Washington: The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday appreciated the steps being taken by India to reduce its dependence on Iranian oil while acknowledging that it is "hard" for New Delhi to do so.

"Well, India has reduced its dependence on Iranian oil. I know their refineries have stopped asking for orders to purchase Iranian oil. So they certainly have taken steps," Clinton told the CNN in an interview.

Clinton is dispatching her senior aide to India next week for talks with Indian officials on the Iranian issues and help it reduce its dependence.

"We are working with them to help them in any way that we can offer technical assistance, and next week my energy coordinator, Ambassador Carlos Pascual, will be in India with a team of experts," she said.

The US Secretary of State, at the same time, acknowledged that doing this is going to be a bit tough for New Delhi.

"Because we know that this is hard for India, just like it's been hard for some of the European countries that were very dependent upon Iranian oil, for Japan. And we have worked with them and offered suggestions about alternative sources of supply at an affordable cost," Clinton said.

"So we appreciate the steps that India has taken, and we're continuing to consult with them," Clinton said. India, she noted, shares exactly the goals of the United States on Iran.

(Agencies)

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