Monday, November 07, 2005

India could revise stand on Iran over nuclear program: FM

Yahoo News:

Sun Nov 6, 3:32 PM ET

NEW DELHI (AFP) -India, which earlier this year voted in favour of an IAEA motion against Iran's nuclear program, could reverse its stand at an upcoming meeting if the resolution proposed stronger action, Foreign Minister Natwar Singh said.

"If a resolution is placed at the IAEA which is more severe than the last one, which says that this matter must go to the UN Security Council, I can as foreign minister of India tell you that my recommendation to the government will be to revise our vote," he said.

Singh, who is under fire for charges in a UN report that he benefited from deals linked to the UN oil-for-food programme for Iraq, said New Delhi would vote at an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting in Vienna on November 24 based on "our vital national interest."

A UN report by former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker said Singh and India's ruling Congress party were among beneficiaries worldwide allowed to buy Iraqi oil at below market rates in return for kickbacks to the regime of Saddam Hussein.

India was among 22 of the IAEA's 35 member countries that voted in September for a resolution creating the conditions for referring Iran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme.

The United States suspects Iran is using its nascent nuclear power program to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons, a suspicion Tehran says is unfounded.


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