India hails new US diplomatic move on Iran
New Delhi urged all sides to display "flexibility and adopt a constructive and forward looking approach."india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 20:04 IST
India on Thursday welcomed the US' new-found 'readiness' to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue with the European Union (EU) troika and urged all sides to adopt a "constructive and forward looking approach" towards the issue of Tehran's nuclear programme.
"The readiness of the US to join in the dialogue between EU-3 (Britain, France and Germany) and Iran, which India has all along supported, is to be welcomed," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna said in response to a question in New Delhi.
"India has all along advocated that issues relating to Iran's nuclear programme ought to be resolved through dialogue and that confrontation should be avoided," the spokesperson added.
New Delhi urged all sides to display "flexibility and adopt a constructive and forward looking approach," and hoped that the on-going diplomatic efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff would reach "successful conclusion."
Sarna was alluding to US President George Bush's remarks at a press conference in Washington on Wednesday about resolving the Iranian issue through "robust diplomacy."
"You are seeing robust diplomacy," Bush had commented in response to a question about US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's enunciation of the American policy towards Iran that was seen as slight softening of the earlier American insistence on imposing sanctions against Tehran.
"... I believe it's very important that we solve this issue diplomatically. And my decision today says that the United States is going to take a leadership position in solving this issue," Bush said.
"And our message to the Iranians is that, One, you won't have a weapon and, two, that you must verifiably suspend any programmes, at which point we will come to the negotiating table to work on a way forward," Bush added.
In her enunciation of the re-calibrated US' policy on Iran, Rice exhorted Iran to work with the international community to inspire confidence in its nuclear programme, but made it clear that it would not allow Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons.
According to Rice, there were two options before Iran: the "negative choice" meant pursuing nuclear weapons in defiance of international obligations and the positive one to alter its present course and cooperate in resolving the issue.
Rice warned Tehran that the former option would entail "great costs" and led to "international isolation and progressively stronger political and economic sanctions."
Britain has also 'welcomed' the US' proposal to join EU-3 in any new negotiations. "The US offer will, therefore, give added weight to the proposals which Foreign Ministers will be discussing in Vienna on Friday. I urge Iran to respond positively to this opportunity," British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said in London on Wednesday.