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India welcomes Russian initiative for consensus on Iran
January 27, 2006 23:22 IST
Seeking to clear the air after the political storm stirred by United States envoy David C Mulford's remarks on the Iran nuclear issue, India Friday said it welcomed initiatives from Russia and others to forge a consensus and avoid a confrontation.
"India welcomes all initiatives, including from Russia, which could enable a consensus to be reached on this issue and urges further intensive efforts in that direction," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said in response to a question of the Iran nuclear issue.
He said that during the past two weeks, India has been undertaking active consultations with all key members of the International Atomic Energy Association Board of Governors and with Iran in order to avoid confrontation and to promote the widest possible consensus on handling the Iran nuclear issue.
In all these consultations, India has argued that all concerned countries should avoid confrontation and work in the spirit of seeking a mutually acceptable solution, he said.
Mulford had in controversial comments in an interview to PTI made it clear that if India did not vote against Iran's nuclear issue in the February 2 IAEA meeting, the fallout on the India-US nuclear deal in the US Congress would be "devastating."
Taking objection to the remarks, Left parties and Bharatiya Janata Party asked the government to make its stand clear on the issue.
Sarna said Iran's right to develop "peaceful uses of nuclear energy for its development consistent with its international obligations and commitments should be respected," he said.
The spokesman said, "Iran's willingness to work together with IAEA to remove any outstanding issues about its nuclear programme should be welcomed. In this regard, the Agency should be allowed to proceed according to its work programme and submit a detailed report," he added.
New Delhi's comments came a day after China, opposing use of "arbitrary" sanctions or any such threat against Iran, asked all sides to step up diplomatic efforts to end the standoff.
The IAEA is to convene an emergency session of its board of governors next week, on which the United States and the European Union are likely to push for a vote on referring the issue to the UN Security Council which could lead to sanctions against Iran.
The meeting is to be held at the EU request after Iran resumed uranium enrichment research following a two-and-half year halt.