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Senate panel seeks India's help on Iran

Considering that India is an important NAM leader, it is perceived as a state with imp military-eco relations with Iran. Graphics

india Updated: Dec 09, 2006 11:52 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

The Senate-House conference has not only diluted the contentious provision relating to Iran in the law on India-US civil nuclear deal, but also sought India's help in containing Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors resolved that Iran was in non-compliance with its safeguards and non-proliferation treaty (NPT) obligations in September 2005, diplomatic negotiations to dissuade, sanction and contain the Iranian nuclear programme have been largely unsuccessful, the conferees said in their report.

They thus considered it "imperative to obtain the support of key states to develop measures that would enable the world community once again to have confidence in both Iran's nuclear intentions and the ability to monitor developments."

"India's support, as a long-time leader of the Non-Aligned Movement and as a state with military and economic relations with Iran, is particularly important," said the panel led by the chairmen of the foreign relations panels of the two chambers, Richard Lugar and Henry Hyde and ranking Democrats on them, Joe Biden and Tom Lantos.

The panel expressed its belief that "India's full and active participation in US and international efforts to dissuade, sanction, and contain Iran's nuclear programme would greatly benefit both the region and the world."

As such the Presidential report on its efforts in this regard as required by the legislation "will be of great interest to many Members of Congress," it added.

The earlier House and Senate versions made nuclear cooperation with New Delhi contingent on India "fully and actively participating in and international efforts to dissuade, sanction and contain Iran for its nuclear programme," which the United States says is aimed at producing weapons.

The compromise would have president only report on whether India is cooperating in restraining Iran rather than require such cooperation.

First Published: Dec 09, 2006 02:08 IST