Washington: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has lauded India for being "very supportive" in many respects on the issue of sanctions against Iran.
Geithner, in response to questions from lawmakers, said US was working with countries like India, China and Russia to further tighten these international sanctions against Iran.
"Working very closely with them, and they have — India has been working with us on this, very supportive in many respects on the financial side in particular. But it's not just those. We're working with Turkey, with India, Russia —countries around the world," he said.
"I wouldn't want to be optimistic. I think they share our basic recognition that their interests also would be affected by Iran successfully acquiring the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon, and therefore they have a strong interest themselves to join with us on that front," Geithner said.
"Based on our conversations, my sense is they'll continue to work with us," he said. On the broader sanctions, America has been very successful over the last few years and months in dramatically tightening the international sanctions on Iran, Geithner told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing.
"The most areas where you see that today are in the announcements made by a number of countries to significantly reduce the amount of oil they purchase from Iran. But in addition to that, a number of countries, not just in Europe have dramatically tightened the level of broader financial interactions they have with Iran to finance trade with Iran.
"And the combined effect of those things, we believe, has been very significant economic effects reported all the time. Of course the ultimate test will be the one you said, which is: Are these sanctions, as tough are they, are going to be effective in deterring Iran in pursuing these nuclear ambitions?" he said.
The SWIFT announcement by the Europeans is part of that. What the Europeans did is to convince SWIFT to stop providing those financial services to the banks designated by the European governments. That is an appropriate and powerful act, the US official said.
"On the bank side, we oppose and have worked against any lending by the World Bank to Iran. The last loan was approved in 2005 over our objection. Iran now is repaying the bank, receives no net disbursements from the bank. I believe the bank is fully complying with all UN resolutions in this context," he said.