India will say yes in Iran vote
New Delhi has instructed its ambassador at the IAEA to go with the general consensus, reports NR Chaudhury.india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 02:03 IST
India is likely to vote in favour of the resolution on the Iran nuclear issue, if it comes up for voting at the IAEA's emergency meeting on Friday.
Though India is working for a "consensus" over the issue, as is the norm, at the IAEA's board of governors meet in Vienna, New Delhi has instructed its ambassador at the IAEA, Sheel Kant Sharma, to go with the general consensus over the draft resolution.
US state department spokesman Sean McCormack, meanwhile, said in Washington that there was no pressure on New Delhi to vote in favour of the resolution. "We've expressed our hope that they (India) would vote yes… But that is their decision. They're a sovereign country and it is going to be the Indian government's decision on how they vote," he said.
The draft resolution, on which the 35-member board began negotiations on Thursday, is "relatively mild," sources said. It urges Iran to respond "positively to the calls for confidence-building measures" and suspend all enrichment-related and processing activities, while the board continues to "work for a diplomatic solution to the issue".
Though not 'referring' the issue to the UNSC, the resolution requests the IAEA director-general to "report to the Security Council that these steps are required of Iran by the board". This permits the IAEA a "degree of flexibility" to still resolve the issue within its purview, provided Iran complies with the international consensus.
The draft resolution calls on Iran to "understand that the board lacks confidence in its intentions in seeking to develop a fissile material production capability against the background of Iran's record on safeguards".
The five permanent UNSC members (P-5) and Germany agreed in London on Tuesday to bring Iran before the council, but in a compromise with Russia put off UN action until at least the next IAEA meeting in March. This effort to provide more time for a compromise solution is reflected in the draft, making India's decision much easier.
Though there have been reports that with Russia and China in favour of the draft resolution, countries like Venezuela and Cuba will not seek a vote, there is a possibility that a consensus might, after all, not work out.
AFP quoted Venezuelan ambassador to the IAEA, Gustavo Marquez Marin, saying that the country would vote against the resolution - as it did in September 2005. Cuba, a new member of the board of governors, said in a statement it was also against it. If the two countries maintain their stand, it would force the issue to a vote.