Iran oil imports to continue, vows Pranab

India will not scale down its petroleum imports from Iran despite US-led sanctions against the Islamic republic, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Chicago on Sunday.

''It is not possible for India to take any decision to reduce the imports from Iran drastically, because among the countries which can provide the requirement of the emerging economies, Iran is important,'' Mukherjee told reporters.

Speaking at the end of a two-day visit aimed at wooing US investment, Mukherjee said, ''Some other countries - Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, the other Gulf countries – they also contribute, but Iran contributes substantially.''

India imports 12 per cent of its petroleum needs from Tehran. ''We (India) import 110 million tonnes of crude per year. We will not decrease imports from Iran. Iran is an important country for India despite US and European sanctions on Iran,'' the finance minister said.

India, the world's fourth-largest oil consumer, is Iran's second-biggest oil client after China.

The US and other Western nations have imposed sanctions on Iran's exports over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.