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Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear energy: India

world Updated: Mar 23, 2011 08:48 IST
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Emphasizing Iran's right to pursue a civilian nuclear programme, India has said that Tehran should reassure the international community that its nuclear project is only meant for peaceful purposes.

"India has taken a consistent stand on the Iranian nuclear issue," Hardeep Singh Puri India's envoy to the UN said at a Security Council meeting to discuss the status of the sanctions imposed on Iran.

"Iran is entitled to the rightful use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and should at the same time restore international confidence to the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear activities", Puri said.

Colombian UN Ambassador Nestor Osorio, who chairs the Security Council's Iran sanctions committee, told the Security Council about two alleged violations involving material that contributes to enrichment activity and development of nuclear weapon delivery system.

"The increase in the number of reported sanctions violations is a matter of serious concern," he said.

Earlier this month, Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that Iran is still not cooperating to show that its nuclear programme is peaceful.

"Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable the Agency to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities," Amano told the Board of Governors of the IAEA.

In June, last year, the UN Security Council passed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran for running its nuclear programme without transparency and violating previous Security Council resolutions along with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The resolution, however, did not pass unanimously. There were 12 votes in favour but both Turkey and Brazil voted against while Lebanon abstained.

India noted that misgivings about Iran's nuclear programme needed to be addressed by "peaceful means, through dialogue and negotiation."

Other countries, however, spoke more sternly.

"Iran's behaviour is correctly identified in today's report as part of a pattern of deliberate circumvention of sanctions," said Mark Lyall Grant, Britain's ambassador to the UN

UK also pointed out that NATO had confirmed the arms seized in Nimruz, Afghanistan were from Iran and were intended for the Taliban.

"The detailed technical analysis, together with the circumstances of the seizure, leave us in no doubt that the weaponry recovered came from Iran, despite the fact that they were crudely doctored to make it look as though they originated in a country represented on this council," Grant said. "This is completely unacceptable, and not the behaviour of a responsible neighbour."