Clinton said India understands the importance of denying Iran a nuclear weapon, and credited New Delhi's efforts to diversify its sources of crude oil to rely less on Iran.
Krishna welcomed the U.S. decision as consistent with the growing strategic partnership between the U.S. and India, but he told The Associated Press that Iran will continue to remain an important source of oil to India. He also said Prime Minister Singh was considering visiting Iran in August for a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The U.S. increasingly looks to India as a partner in developing Afghanistan, where New Delhi has provided some $2 billion in assistance. Washington also wants India to play a more active role in training Afghan security forces as the U.S. and its NATO allies plan to withdraw combat forces by 2014. Krishna said India is willing to help if Afghanistan requests it.
India has sought reassurance that the U.S. and its allies will retain a substantial presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014 because of concerns for that country's stability as Western forces withdraw after a decade of fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida.
"Any perception of lack of will on the part of the international community to deal firmly with terrorist groups will risk Afghanistan sliding back to being a safe haven for terrorist and extremist groups that threaten the region and beyond," Krishna said.
He stressed the necessity to deal with "terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens" beyond Afghanistan's borders — a reference to India's archrival, Pakistan.