The Bush administration has lauded India's decision to vote with the United States and the European Union against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, censuring Tehran for violations of its commitments to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and declared that it appreciated New Delhi's support.
Asked specifically about India's vote and its decision to stand clearly with the US and the EU on this issue, and send an unambiguous message to the Iranians, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, "We appreciate the support."
He said, "The world is saying to Iran that it is time to come clean. The world has put Iran on notice with this resolution. It is unacceptable the way Iran is behaving. And if it does not come into compliance, then the matter is going to be referred to the United Nations Security Council. The resolution clearly spelled that out."
McClellan argued that Iran for 2 decades had hid its nuclear activities from the international community and failed to comply with its international obligations.
"They need to abide by their international obligations, and they need to abide by their agreements with the Europeans," he said.
"We continue to support the diplomatic efforts of the Europeans to resolve this matter," he added, but asserted, "you saw at the International Atomic Energy Agency that there is a growing majority of nations that recognize that Iran's non-compliance must be addressed."
McClellan reiterated that the resolution reflected the international community's deep concern about Iran's pattern of deception and concealment.
Over at the State Department, spokesman Sean McCormack said, "From the beginning of this process, our goal has been to get Iran back to the negotiating table with the EU-3."
McCormack, one of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's closest aides, who followed her from the National Security Council, where she was the national security adviser in the first term of President Bush, and he was the NSC spokesman, to the State Department, said, "Nobody wants to see Iran obtain nuclear weapons, especially not under the cover of a civilian nuclear program."
"Nobody wantsthe other parties of the Board of Governors don't want to see Iran have access to sensitive nuclear fuel cycle technology as well as know-how. That is the goalthat is what we are trying to achieve here. The process is not an end to itself; the process is merely a way to get that goal."
McCormack said the vote over the weekend, which saw India do a dramatic about-face and vote against Iran, "was a good first step. We hope that Iran heeds the signal that was sent and that is, get back to the negotiating table."
"If you look at how the vote actually unfolded, Iran finds itself increasingly isolated on this question," he noted.
McCormack said, "the next step is we will see what Iran takes from this. They have an opportunity here; we hope that they do take this opportunity. There will be a report as a result of this vote on Saturdaythere will be a report to the Security Council. What is contained in that report and the timing of that report will depend on what Iran does."
"If Iran continues with its defiant actions, and I would expect that that report would be much less good than we would hope," he warned.
"But again, what is contained in the report is going to be up to Iran. We will see how they respond to this message that has been sent to them. But they clearly have to understand that they find themselves more and more isolated as a result of their actions," he added.
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