Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Indian Govt won’t give Left assurance on Iran vote

Indian Express:
The UPA government has no intention of giving the Left any prior commitment on the Iran issue since New Delhi’s vote at the November 5 meeting of the IAEA board will depend on the flexibility Tehran shows to address concerns of the nuclear watchdog.

Official sources confirmed that India’s present assessment, based on the IAEA report, is that Iran has been working to clandestinely acquire nuclear weapons capability and that Tehran had kept New Delhi in the dark on the issue. ‘‘The use of uranium hexaflouride is for no other purpose except for enrichment that is needed for weapons capability,’’ said a senior official. READ MORE

While CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat wants New Delhi to state clearly that the Iranian nuclear issue is not a fit case for referring to the UN Security Council, the UPA government is unlikely to give in. Indian concern over Iran is also sensitised by the involvement of Pakistan’s A Q Khan in Tehran’s nuclear pursuit.

The Indian gameplan is to buy more space for nuclear diplomacy between Iran and the EU-3 so that Tehran’s nuclear programme does not go to the UNSC but the North Korean way—the latter has been involved in negotiations with the international community since 1994.

Before the September 23 vote in Vienna, sources said PM Manmohan Singh did not discuss voting with Iran President Ahmadinejad because till that time the assessment was that there would be consensus among board members. But it was brought to vote by Venezuela.

As New Delhi was not convinced of the Iranian approach, it voted against Tehran as it could not be seen on the side of nuclear proliferators. ‘‘India’s credentials as a responsible nuclear weapons state would have been hit if New Delhi had voted for Tehran,’’ said a senior official.