Meet eve, Iran picks on India | india | Hindustan Times
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Meet eve, Iran picks on India

As Iran on Sunday trashed the United States for its "double standards" in signing a nuclear deal with India, not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin to gauge the status of the negotiations between Moscow and Tehran on the eve of the IAEA meeting.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 12:42 IST

As Iran on Sunday trashed the United States for its "double standards" in signing a nuclear deal with India, not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin to gauge the status of the negotiations between Moscow and Tehran on the eve of the IAEA meeting.

Putin and Singh exchanged views in context of the forthcoming meeting of the Board of Governors of the IAEA on March 6, during their 20-minute telephonic conversation, initiated by the Indian Prime Minister, who is facing serious criticism from allies for voting to report Iran's nuclear programme to the UN Security Council. According to an official statement, Singh "welcomed Russia's efforts to address the issue related to Iran's nuclear programme through dialogue and consultations."

Russia and Iran have engaged in intensive negotiations over the past weeks to try and ensure that Teheran accepts Moscow's plan to allow Iranian nuclear fuel to be enriched in Russia as a gesture of cooperation with the international community's concerns over Iran's nuclear programme.

India supports the Russian proposal as a means to ensure that the Iranian nuclear issue stays within the purview of the International Atomic Energy Agency. During his recent talks with US President George Bush, Singh urged Washington to allow more time for dialogue to resolve Iran's nuclear programme. Singh advocated greater restraint towards Iran and told Bush that India did not want another nuclear weapons state in its neighbourhood, but punitive action like sanctions and excessive pressure should not be placed on Tehran.

According to reports, Russia and Iran are close to reaching an agreement by which Iran's nuclear fuel could be enriched on Russian soil. But, Teheran has warned that any referral to the UNSC by the IAEA's board of governors on Monday could