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India 'a responsible actor': US

india Updated: Aug 08, 2006 12:28 IST
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US considers the Indo-US nuclear deal good for both Washington as well as for non-proliferation and New Delhi a 'very responsible actor' on that front notwithstanding last week's sanctions against two Indian companies.

"We believe that the Indian government has a very strong record overall on the non-proliferation front and the nuclear deal with India is a good one for the US and a good one for the international community on the non-proliferation front," the State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack, told reporters on Monday.

There are 33 companies - both private and state-controlled - from around the world that are currently sanctioned for selling banned material to Iran, he pointed out, disagreeing with a suggestion that the sanctions would not reflect well on India's non-proliferation record.

McCormack also denied that there was any deliberate attempt to withhold information from the US Congress about the impending sanctions against two Indian firms before the House of Representatives voted on the India-US nuclear deal on July 26.

A tightly controlled process was followed in such cases not only for the sake of a country or company's reputation, "but also to make sure that you don't tip your hand", he said, adding that there is again a process to make such decisions public in the Federal Register.

But "on issues related to non-proliferation, there's a constant dialogue with the US Congress", McCormack said.

"And in this particular case I don't know - I'm not aware of any particular breach of etiquette or past conduct or even regulation," he added.

As many as 33 companies from different countries are currently sanctioned under the Iran Act, he said.

"But we believe the Indian government itself is a responsible actor, very responsible actor on the front of non-proliferation," McCormack added.

He said there were private entities from around the world and there were state-controlled entities - where the economy is dominated by the state - who break American law. And when they do break American law, US will hold them to account through the sanctioning process, he added.

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