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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:33, February 18, 2006
Do not link IAEA vote to relations with Iran, says Indian PM
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Defending India'a vote at International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna against Iran , Indian Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh said here Friday that India cannot afford to turn a blind eye to security implications.

While clarifying the reasons for India's vote against Iran in Indian Parliament here, the PM said. "Successive reports of the Director General of the IAEA have noted that while Iran's cooperation has resulted in clarifying a number of questions, there remain many unresolved questions on key issues."

He said the source "of such clandestine proliferation of sensitive technologies lies in our own neighbourhood, details of which have emerged from successive IAEA reports."

"India cannot afford to turn a blind eye to security implications of such proliferation activities," Singh added.

The PM, however, said India's vote on the IAEA resolution does not detract from the traditionally close and friendly relations India enjoys with Iran.

"Indeed, India-Iran ties, as we have repeatedly emphasized, are civilization in nature."

The PM added that the importance of India's relations with Iran is not limited to any single issue or aspect. In this context he referred to the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

The PM also said that as a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty, Iran has the legal right to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy. He said that these must be consistent with its international commitments and obligations.

He, however, expressed concern on the "escalating rhetoric and growing tensions and the possibility of a confrontation over this issue."

He said tensions in this region, where India's vital political, economic and security interests were involved, affected India directly. "The region hosts 3.5 million Indian citizens whose welfare is a major concern of my Government," he said.

Therefore, he said, "India had consistently worked to promote a consensus in the IAEA towards Iran."

Source: Xinhua

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