Monday, September 26, 2005

US thanks India for supporting IAEA resolution on Iran

Washington: The United States has thanked India for supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency resolution referring Iran's nuclear programme to the UN Security Council, calling it ''a significant step forward''.

In a conference call with reporters yesterday after the vote against Iran, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said, ''that (India's vote) was a blow to Iran's attempt to turn this into a developed world versus a developing world debate,'' and added, ''we are very grateful for India's support.'' ''This is a significant step forward in the international effort to isolate Iran,'' Burns said. ''It's also a significant setback for Iran's nuclear strategy,'' he said.

US officials claimed a victory after India, which had opposed referring Iran's nuclear programme to the Security Council, voted for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution. Russia, Pakistan, South Africa and China, were among the 12 countries that abstained from voting after days of diplomatic wrangling. Venezuela was the lone country that voted against the resolution.

Before voting on the IAEA resolution, India, along with Russia, China and some other countries, indicated it would not support it. But at the last minute, India changed its stand and voted along with 22 countries, including the United States, for the resolution. US officials used their diplomatic clout to get immediate reference of Iran's case to the Security Council for resuming its uranium enrichment programme, which is perceived as a covert effort by Iran to make nuclear weapons.

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