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India's vote on Iran not linked to the US

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Last updated on: September 27, 2005 11:36 IST

Dismissing the charge that its vote for the International Atomic Energy Agency resolution on Iran's nuclear issue was a result of concerns voiced by some United States lawmakers on the Indo-US nuclear pact, India said on Sunday that it determines its policy on international issues, based on independent assessments.

"Our positions in international fora are invariably determined by our independent assessments, which are consistent with our policy pronouncements and anchored in our larger national interest," India's Ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen said.

Asked whether the Indian vote was prompted by concerns voiced by some members of Congress who linked New Delhi's attitude on Tehran to the Indo-US nuclear deal, he said, "Any such assumption would be totally wrong."

Sen said the original resolution, against which India had advised, would have sent the matter to the United Nations Security Council straightaway. "The new one doesn't," he said.

Analysts said that the European Union resolution on Iran was consistent with Indian advice on not to rush to the Security Council, but to continue negotiations.

The resolution, adopted at a meeting of the IAEA board of governors in Vienna late Saturday night, 'requests the IAEA Director-General Mohamed El Baradei to continue his efforts to implement this and previous resolutions and to report again, including any further developments on the issues raised in his report of September 2'.

Shortly after the vote, the External Affairs Ministry issued a statement in New Delhi, saying the world nuclear watchdog had addressed India's major concerns and it did not reflect any change in its stand on Iran.

India's stand that some more time should be given for satisfactory resolution of the issue had been taken care of, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said in New Delhi. The draft resolution had conceded this by deferring any decision till further consideration of the matter at the Board's next meeting in November this year, he said.

India was opposed to the matter being referred to the UN Security Council and the draft resolution had agreed to keep this within the purview of the IAEA at this stage, he said.

"Everyone acknowledged that the issue remains very much here in Vienna, that there is ample room here, still, for negotiations, that the issue has not been referred to the Security Council," El Baradei said in Vienna. "All of us need to explore this window of opportunity, from now until November, to make sure that we are moving towards a comprehensive settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue."

The IAEA chief said a number of countries have indicated their readiness to work with Iran and with the European Union to try to find a way for them to go back into a negotiating process.

"At the end of the day, many of these issues that have to do with regional security and economic relations, could only be resolved through negotiation. I am encouraged that the issue has not been deferred to the Security Council, precisely to give time for diplomacy and negotiation," El Baradei said.

The IAEA board, on Saturday,  approved a resolution moved by the European Union that sets up Iran for future referral to the UN Security Council. The vote was 22-1, with 12 countries, including Russia and China abstaining. India voted for the resolution, while Venezuela cast the only vote against it.

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