US President Barack Obama on Sunday updated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about plans to impose fresh sanctions against Iran. India, however, struck a different chord saying such plans affected only the lives of ordinary people and were counter-productive.
“Our stand on the Iran issue is well-known. President Obama did discuss Iran issue with the prime minister. The prime minister said sanctions, when they target common people, are unproductive. And we have agreed to keep in touch over the issue,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said.
However, she also said Iran being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) had a certain obligation to follow.
New Delhi has been saying sanctions are not the answer to the Iran nuclear question. It has argued that pressure should continue to be applied against Iran through the International Atomic Energy Agency.
However, India does not have a seat in the UN Security Council and would not be a direct party to such a decision.
The US has been gathering support from other countries and sounded out India among others. Iran and North Korea — two countries with fissile material-producing capability — were not invited for the nuclear security summit in Washington because of their “rogue nuclear status.”
China is said to have objected to the call for energy investment sanctions against Iran.