India defies pressure over Iran case

The prime minister of India has said his country will not be pressured into voting against Iran over its nuclear programme at this week's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    Singh has said his government will do what is right for India

    Manmohan Singh told reporters in New Delhi on Sunday: "We will do what is right for the country. India's national interest is the prime concern whether it is domestic or foreign policy. 
      
    "We will not come under pressure. We will do the right thing for the country. Our prime concern is to protect and safeguard India's enlightened national interest," the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency quoted Singh as saying. 

    US threat
      
    David Mulford, the US ambassador, warned last week that a historic deal to provide India with American nuclear technology might fall through unless it votes against Iran at the 2-3 February meeting of the IAEA.
      
    Mulford said a prospective deal for the United States to transfer civilian nuclear technology to India would "die" in the US Congress if India voted against a resolution on Iran.

    Mulford also said that if India decided not to back the resolution, the effect on members of the US Congress, with regard to India-US civil nuclear initiative, would be devastating. 
      

    "We will not come under pressure. We will do the right thing for the country. Our prime concern is to protect and safeguard India's enlightened national interest"

    Manmohan Singh,
    Indian prime minister

    India's communists, who lend crucial outside support to Singh's minority government, have asked the government to abstain from the vote if the IAEA meeting does not reach a consensus.

    During the IAEA meeting in Vienna in September, India voted with the US, Britain, France and Germany to chide Iran for its nuclear programmes.
      
    Last week the Indian Foreign Ministry said it supported a Russian proposal which provided for Tehran to enrich uranium into fuel outside Iran as a way of keeping it from acquiring bomb-making technology.

    SOURCE: AFP


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