Iran, Pakistan and India would soon give final shape to the proposed three-nation gas pipeline, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday night. But he placed a question mark on the implementation of the June 2005 gas-by-ship contract.
<b1>The Iranian President conceded there was a clear link between the gas-by-ship deal — to sell 5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India — and New Delhi’s decision to vote against Tehran at the IAEA governing board in September 2005.
Talking to the press after talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said: “Each vote has its own impact.” But he added that the India-Iran relationship was “deeper than a vote”. India’s vote against Iran at the IAEA “related to the past”, he said. “We are now looking forward.”
The IAEA votes took the Iranian nuclear issue from the domain of the atomic watchdog to the UN Security Council.
Ahmadinejad was pleased that Indian officials had given a “good and appropriate response” to Washington when it came forward with words of advice for Iran before his brief visit to Delhi.
In his opening remarks, Ahmadinejad once again questioned the extent of the Holocaust against the Jews in World War-II and felt this was used as a pretext to occupy Palestine. He also raised questions about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and felt these acted as an excuse to occupy both Iraq and Afghanistan.
He had harsh words for the United States, describing it as a “falling power” which would soon have to evacuate its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ahmadinejad described as "mythical" American charges that his country supported terrorist groups.
"The ruling powers want all the goodness for themselves," he said, adding that there was a conspiracy to deny countries like Iran access to nuclear energy.
After saying that global politics would not be affected by a change of American President, Ahamdinejad wondered whether the US was ready to elect a black man or a woman as head of state.
"Will they let a black man become President of the country? Will they let a woman become President?" the Iranian leader wanted to know when asked who amongst Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain was his preferred candidate for "regime change" in the US.
"We don't interfere in the internal affairs of any nation," Ahamdinejad said, just before he left for home.