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Why India voted against Iran in IAEA

November 27, 2009 22:44 IST

India on Friday said it could not ignore the conclusions of the International Atomic Energy watchdog IAEA on Iran's nuclear enrichment programme before deciding to vote against Tehran, but felt the door for dialogue with it should be open.

In its 'Explanation of Vote' on the resolution moved at the meeting of Board of GovernorsĀ  of IAEA in Vienna, India, however, said the passage of the resolution cannot be the basis of a "renewed punitive approach or new sanctions" against Iran.

"In fact, the coming weeks should be used by all concerned to expand the diplomatic space to satisfactorily address all outstanding issues. India firmly supports keeping the door open for dialogue and avoidance of confrontation," it said.

India noted that "the Director General concluded that "Iran's failure to notify the Agency of the existence of this facility until September 2009...was inconsistent with its obligations under the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement and that IranĀ“s late declaration of the new facility reduces confidence in the absence of other nuclear facilities under construction in Iran which have not been declared to the Agency."

Detailing its decision to vote against Iran, India said it was "difficult to ignore" the conclusions drawn by IAEA chief Mohammed Al Baradei in his report as the country considered the role of the Director General has a "vital bearing" on the considerations of Board of Governors.

India said its support for the resolution was based on the "key points contained in the report of the director general".
However, it said, "as such we do not believe that the adoption of this resolution should divert the parties away from dialogue".
"In recent months, we were encouraged by the new pathways of engagement that had opened up with Iran, including the recent meetings in Geneva and Vienna which gave rise to hopes of constructive and productive results," it said.

During previous board meetings, it said, India had underlined the "critical importance" of continued cooperation and dialogue between IAEA and Iran.

"The agency's safeguards system is the bedrock of the international community's confidence that peaceful uses of nuclear energy and non-proliferation objectives can be pursued in a balanced manner. The integrity of this system should be preserved," it said.

India said the IAEA DG has noted that while the agency has continued to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, there has, however, been no movement on "remaining issues of concern which need to be clarified for the agency to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme".

The note also said India has consistently supported the right of all states to peaceful use of nuclear energy consistent with the respective obligations that they have undertaken.

In Iran's case, which is a signatory to NPT, India' s Explanatory Note said Iran has all rights and obligations that go with its membership of NPT pertaining to use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

"We also underline the importance of the full and effective implementation of all safeguards obligations under taken by member states of the IAEA," it said.

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