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'US must not use N-deal to force India toe its line on Iran'

Bill Emmot, former Editor-in Chief of 'The Economist' says that the nuke deal is the rare thing, using it to try to force India to align with the US policy on Iran will be a big mistake.
PTI | By Sridhar Krishnaswami, Washington
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2008 08:00 PM IST

The US Congress must not use the civilian nuclear deal as a leverage to force India to toe the Washington line on Iran because the initiative is a "rare thing" that could look "strategically smart" to future historians, an article in

The Washington Post

has said.

"The US-India nuclear deal is that rare thing, a foreign policy move by the Bush administration that could look strategically smart to future historians," said Bill Emmot, former Editor-in Chief of 'The Economist', in an article in The Post.

Emmot, the author of 'Rivals: How the power struggle between China, India and Japan will shape our next decade' appealed to senior members of the Congress in Washington "to display a more realistic attitude toward India's ties with Iran".

"Using the nuclear deal to try to force India to align with the US policy on Iran would be a big mistake," Emmot wrote in the influential US daily.

He underlined that the onus is now on the US Congress to get the deal through, something that was passed of as "almost certainly dead".

The author said the decision in India to go forward with the deal must be "rewarded" by a strong American effort to persuade the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the 45-members of the global Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to endorse the deal, and then by a rapid ratification in the final session of Congress this year.

Emmot stressed that due to its colonial history, "India is fiercely protective of its autonomy".

"It is never going to sign up for a full Japanese-style alliance with the United States. Trying to force it to toe the US line on Iran, to be 'either with us or against us,' would be letting the best be the enemy of the good," the author underlined in The Post.

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