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US State dep raises Congressional concerns

world Updated: May 04, 2007 12:26 IST

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The US says it has not seen the letter written by a group of American lawmakers to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on New Delhi's ties with Tehran and its implications to the civilian nuclear deal but notes that the Bush administration has already raised the matter with the Indian Government.

"We have not seen this letter and I 'am not sure whether the Indians have had a chance to look at it and react to it."

"In terms of what we say and while what we have discussed with our Indian counterparts, I know that we have raised Congressional concern about their cooperation with Iran and we continue to encourage the Indians to use what influence they have with the Iranians to press them to comply with UN Security Council Resolutions and to behave responsibly in a wide variety of areas," Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey told reporters in reply to a query.

He adds that when foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon was in town meeting senior officials like the under secretary of state for political affairs Nicholas Burns and others he has had some "fairly strong" views on the subject.

"But certainly this is an issue that we continue to discuss with them in our official contacts as well," he added.

The strong-worded letter from Capitol Hill came from senior law makers like Tom Lantos, chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen the ranking Republican, Howard Berman, Gary Ackerman who is the chair of the house Middle East and South Asia subcommittee, and others.