India welcomes Iran nuclear deal

  • IANS, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 24, 2013 19:46 IST

India on Sunday welcomed the accord reached between Iran and the six world powers on Tehran's nuclear programme that seeks to curb Iran's nuclear development programme in exchange for lifting some sanctions.

The deal – between Iran and the US, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany (P5 plus 1) – was arrived at early on Sunday after more than four days of negotiations.

"As the agreement between Iran and the P5 plus 1 has been agreed to just a few hours ago, we are in the process of obtaining details from our key interlocutors," said Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs.

"However, based on initial information available at this stage, I can say that India welcomes the prospect of resolving questions related to Iran's nuclear programme, through dialogue and diplomacy," he said.

"We also welcome the earlier agreement reached Nov 11 between Iran and the IAEA, which is the only competent technical agency to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities, on practical measures for enhanced IAEA verification activity at Iranian nuclear sites," the spokesperson said.

According to the deal, Iran will commit to halt uranium enrichment above 5% and also neutralise its stockpile of near–20% uranium.

Tehran has also committed to halt progress on its enrichment capacity. Iran will also halt work at its Arak plutonium reactor and provide access to nuclear inspectors.

In exchange, the US and allies have agreed to offer Iran "modest relief" from economic sanctions and access to a portion of the revenue that the country has been denied through these sanctions. No new sanctions will be imposed.

There would also be "intrusive monitoring" of Iran's nuclear programme as part of the deal.

The White House has termed the nuclear agreement an "initial, six-month step". Over the coming six months, the world powers and Iran will try to reach a final agreement.

However, the key Western sanctions on oil, banking and financial architecture remains in place.

India considers the agreement as consistent with its position that the issue should be resolved diplomatically on the basis of a recognition of Iran's right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy and in accordance with Iran's international obligations as a non-nuclear weapons state.

India feels the interim steps that have been agreed to in Geneva could build trust and confidence between Iran and the international community and can lead to a durable and long-term settlement of the nuclear issue.

For this, the process of diplomatic engagement between Iran and the P5 plus 1 requires to be continued in the same spirit of mutual respect and accommodation as in the last two months.

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