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India offered to pass US message to Ahmadinejad: WikiLeaks

delhi Updated: Mar 22, 2011 01:46 IST

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India had offered to pass on a message from America to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit to New Delhi in 2008, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable.

As per the WikiLeaks cables published in The Hindu, the cable was a report on an advance notice given to the US embassy on the visit by an unnamed official of the ministry of external affairs, prior to the ministry “informing even other agencies within the Indian government, and before the information was to become public”.

“The foreign ministry official offered for the Indian government to pass any messages the USG (United States government) might want to give to Ahmadinejad during the April 29 visit,” said the cable dated April 15, 2008.

The Indian official pointed out that the “Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh had rejected previous requests either to visit Tehran or for Ahmadinejad to visit India, but has now finally accepted a visit from the Iranian leader”.

While the Indian official did not furnish any reason for the visit, the US official analysed, “In Post's estimation, the reason for agreeing to an Ahmadinejad visit at this time is to appease the UPA government's domestic Left and Muslim constituencies, i.e., asserting the independence of India's foreign policy, as well as its healthy relations with Muslim neighbours, at a time when the Communists are scoring points with the electorate by criticising the government for becoming too close to America (and Israel) at the expense of Indian sovereignty.”