M A I N   N E W S

LNG, gas pipeline deals on, says Iran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 28
Even as Iran expressed its displeasure at the Indian vote in the IAEA resolution, the Islamic republic tonight categorically stated that LNG deal and the gas pipeline project with New Delhi were “still in force.”

The statement from the Islamic republic came a day after Iran threatened to review its economic ties with all 22 countries that voted against its nuclear programme, has put to rest all speculation about the energy deals struck between the two countries.

“The agreements arrived at between the two countries are still in force and passing through their normal process,” said a statement issued by the Mission tonight.

Quoting Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, the statement said he described India as a “friend” but added, “we did not expect India to do so (vote with the resolution at the IAEA).

“(But) I believe the friends should not be judged by a single action,” it said.

“Iran enjoys friendly relations with India,” the statement said, quoting Mr Larijani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

Mr Larijani has said the resolution passed by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) against Iran “lacks legal foundation” and that Tehran expects the member states to review the resolution.

India was among 22 nations that supported a resolution September 24 requiring Tehran to be reported to the Security Council for its failure to assure the Vienna-based agency that its nuclear programme was for peaceful purposes. Tehran supplies more than 5 per cent of India’s crude oil imports and the two countries have also signed a $22 billion deal to import LNG from Iran for 25 years from 2009. India is also planning a $7 billion gas pipeline overland from Iran that will cross Pakistan.



Iran Majlis for halt on NPT

Tehran, September 28
The Iranian Majlis today passed a motion directing the government to suspend its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) until the country succeeds in obtaining recognition of its right to complete the nuclear fuel cycle.

The motion was passed with 162 MPs voting in favour, 42 against and 15 abstentions.

Presented by 155 MPs, the ‘single urgency’ motion, which takes precedence over routine legislation, is seen as a reaction to last Saturday’s resolution passed by the International Atomic Energy Commission, against Tehran’s nuclear programme. — UNI 



PM fails to convince Left on Iran
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 28
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s breakfast meeting today, failed to assuage the ruffled feathers of the Left leaders on New Delhi’s vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting, with the Communists urging the UPA government to use all diplomatic resources at its disposal in ensuring that the Iran nuclear issue did not go to the UN Security Council.

During the hour-long meeting, the Prime minister, along with Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, sought to explain to Left leaders New Delhi’s stand on the controversial vote.

“We demanded that India should assure the world that we will not allow the issue to be raised at the Security Council,” CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said. "But it was a positioning vote that unfortunately gives an impression that India is aligning with the US. It is against the Common Minimum Programme that says we should follow an independent foreign policy,’ said Yechury.

While CPM had said the stand has caused “immense damage to India’s non-aligned stand”, CPI said “suspicion” of the West on Iran nuclear programme were as much unsubstantiated as were the findings of weapons of mass destructions in Iraq.

The CPI(M) leader said such a stand could affect India’s energy security interests at a time when New Delhi and Tehran have agreed to construct a gas pipeline through Pakistan.

He said even if the IAEA resolution was taken up at the UN Security Council, it would not be adopted as both Russia and China (permanent members of UNSC with veto powers) had not agreed with it at the Vienna meeting. “It shows as if we are sacrificing our vital national interests to keep the US happy,” he said.

Mukherjee, however, dismissed media reports that Iran had called off the LNG export deal in protest against New Delhi's vote against Teheran. 


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