M A I N   N E W S

Iran surprised at India’s vote on N-issue
Threatens to review trade ties

Dubai, September 27
Voicing surprise over India’s support to an IAEA resolution on its controversial nuclear programme, Iran today threatened to review its economic and trade ties with all those countries which voted against Tehran.

It also threatened to resume uranium enrichment and block UN inspections of its nuclear facilities unless the United Nations’ nuclear agency IAEA retracted its resolution that put the country on the verge of referral to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

“We were very surprised by India,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters in Tehran, adding, “We will send a letter of objection to the countries that voted for the resolution.”

Warning the 22 countries, which voted for the resolution on Saturday, of economic consequences, he said, “Iran will revise these (economic and trade) relations and these countries will suffer. Our economic and political relations are coordinated with each other.”

Defending its decision to support the resolution, India yesterday hoped that it would not affect bilateral energy cooperation and that it would go ahead with the $ 7.4-billion trilateral gas pipeline project through Pakistan if found economically viable.

Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said in New Delhi that India supported the IAEA resolution to avert “a major confrontation” between Iran and the international community.

The IAEA resolution told Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities, including uranium conversion, to abandon the construction of a heavy water nuclear reactor, and to grant access to certain locations and documents.

Mr Asefi said his country “has taken the most steps to strengthen the IAEA but the agency’s members themselves move to weaken it.”

“We believe the agency’s power should be strengthened. We act within the frameworks of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its Additional Protocol as well as the nuclear safeguard,” he was quoted as saying by the IRNA news agency.

He also recalled that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his recent address to the 60th UN General Assembly in New York had said that Iran was ready to accept participation of foreign companies in its nuclear programme.

“The Iranian President’s proposal presented to the UN General Assembly was aimed at forging understanding. The plan would be the best guaranteed objective in the absence of any pretext,” Mr Asefi said.

“If they (the Europeans) do not accept this guaranteed objective, they should offer theirs. We were waiting for the Europeans’ elaboration on their objective that would enable us and themselves to move on a single path, but Europe chose to reverse its policy by urging us to give up fuel cycle work.”

Mr Asefi charged a few Western states and the US in particular with misusing the NPT and interpreting it in their own interests. “Misusing the NPT for individual interests is unacceptable,” he said.

Gas pipeline

NEW DELHI: India today dismissed all concerns associated with the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project despite its vote against Iran in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said he had no problems with India’s stand against Iran on the nuclear issue.

“I am optimistic about the pipeline project,” Mr Aiyar told reporters here.

The multi-billion dollar project has been fraught with concerns ever since the IAEA voting on Iran’s nuclear programme. — PTI, UNI


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |