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US wanted India's help to isolate Iran: Govt
August 30, 2007 20:46 IST
The United States had sought India's support to isolate Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, but New Delhi made it clear that only its own national interests will guide its policy, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
"The US government has approached the members of the United Nations, including India, to seek support for the broader international community's effort to isolate Iran with the aim of inducing Iran to desist from developing nuclear weapons and destabilising the region," said Mukherjee.
The UN Security Council is trying to persuade Tehran to suspend nuclear-related activities that violate its nuclear non-proliferation treaty obligations and international commitment.
Mukherjee noted New Delhi's position that Iran should cooperate more actively and transparently with the International Atomic Energy Agency to address the outstanding issues.
Stressing on the fact that India's relationship with any country is independent of its ties with a third country, Mukherjee said west Asian countries, including Iran, have traditionally been an important region of focus in New Delhi's foreign policy and will continue to remain so.
"The sole guiding principle in our policy, whether it is on Iran or any other country, is dictated by India's national interests," he said.
According to Mukherjee, India has always maintained that "coercion or application of force is not the answer to resolve issues" and the Iranian nuclear problem should be solved through dialogue, with IAEA playing the central role.