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Dialogue alone will solve Iran issue: PM
July 18, 2006 19:38 IST
Hours ahead of Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki's visit to New Delhi, India on Tuesday put its weight behind Tehran stating that it is against the use of coercion against the century-old friendly nation.
"Instead of coercion, diplomacy and dialogue must be given full chance," to defuse the major international crisis that has been going for long, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters while returning from St Pertersburg after attending the G8 Summit.
It was necessary as the "Iranians have not closed the chapter," Dr Singh said, bracing his assessment on the report of South African President Thabo Mbeki, whose foreign minister had gone to Tehran to submit the new proposal of the United Nations Security Council permanent five members and their European Union interlocutors on the issue.
Mbeki had conveyed Iran's immediate response to the proposal to the G8 Summit and its outreach partners. The prime minister said Iran needs time to come out with its detailed response as it had "several elements" in its administration.
India has voted twice against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency on the issues arising from the suspicion that Tehran is trying to make a nuclear bomb, much to the chagrin of the Gulf nation and the Left and Opposition parties at home.
The government had subsequently explained its response as aimed at deferring or avoiding the referral of Iran to the Security Council and give sufficient time for negotiations to defuse the crisis.
Asked what his message was on the eve of Mottaki's visit, Dr Singh said, "It is in the interest of everybody that this problem is resolved through dialogue and discussion."
To a question relating to the present West Asia crisis involving Iran, he said he did not know the minds of the Iranian leadership.
Nevertheless, he expressed hope that everyone could contribute to restoring peace, adding that he would discuss the issue with Mottaki. Giving details of the discussion on Iran at the G8 Summit with its outreach partners, Dr Singh said, "I think there was an expectation that the Iranians would respond constructively. I don't think one would say that he has heard the last word."
Tehran requires time to evolve a broad consensus within the country. "It will not help if the matter goes to the Security Council. Dialogue still offers tremendous potential to resolving the issue," Dr Singh said.