Skip to comments.India rejects linking Iran vote to nuclear deal with U.S.
Posted on 01/25/2006 10:12:25 PM PST by voice of india
NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday categorically rejected any attempt to link its vote on Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the future of its civil nuclear deal with the United States.
The comment came hours after the Press Trust of India quoted U.S. Ambassador to India David Mulford as saying if India did not vote against Iran, the fallout on the July 18, 2005 deal would be "devastating" and the initiative would "die."
(In a late night development, Mr. Mulford claimed in a press statement that his comments to the news agency were taken out of context.)
"We have seen the remarks attributed to the U.S. Ambassador concerning a possible vote on the Iran nuclear issue at the IAEA. The position India takes at the IAEA will be based on its independent judgment," the External Affairs Ministry spokesman said. "With regard to negotiations on the proposed [civil nuclear] agreement, India will proceed on the basis of its national interests, as acknowledged by the U.S. Ambassador himself," the spokesman said.
Rejecting the civil-military separation plan presented by India, Mr. Mulford told PTI that it "did not meet the test" and fell short of the "minimum standards required" for the U.S. Congress to approve the deal.
Putting pressure on India to vote according to American requirements, the Ambassador said an "observation" was also conveyed to New Delhi that if it decided not to vote for the resolution, "the effect on members of the U.S. Congress with regard to [Indo-U.S.] civil nuclear initiative will be devastating."
He said: "I think the Congress will simply stop considering the matter. I think the initiative will die in the Congress not because the administration would want it... " This should be part of the calculations "India will have to keep in mind" while taking a decision on the Iran issue at the IAEA governing board meeting on February 2-3.
Referring to the nuclear deal, the envoy said, "It is not just the United States. The NSG [Nuclear Suppliers' Group], which says, wait a minute, if we are going to make this very special one-time change, unique change for India in the nuclear field and they don't stand up on this issue [Iran], why should we make the change," he said. Mr. Mulford said India had to elaborate its civil-military separation plan and commit itself to it, but did not have to fully implement the plan. Implementation could take years. "The credibility test has to be pretty high to get that kind of support [in Congress and NSG]," he said stressing that if India's plan did not put the "great majority" of the nuclear reactors in its civilian programme, the U.S. Congress would wonder whether New Delhi had a "different agenda."
No matter how true this statement may be I don't see it as the threat various media outlets are making it out to be. Iran is a hot topic in Washington and everyone there is anxious to build a consensus. Indians have expressed political reservations about agreeing with the United States regardless of how clear cut the issue is. I think those kind of politics are tough to rationalize sometimes and lead to more of the same. Between you and me, I am confident India will follow the law and refer Iran to the UNSC. Too much is riding on international democratic institutions to abandon them over a temporary energy deal.
I've mentioned before that Americans are aggressive in debate. This is not arrogance; rather it is confidence in the success that comes from rational compromise. Everything that I know about India and Indians suggests a similar approach to problem solving.
US to 'encourage' India to vote for Iran referral
[ Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:11:23 pm IANS ]
WASHINGTON: The US has said it would "certainly encourage" India to vote to refer Iran's nuclear programme to the UN Security Council and hinted the way New Delhi acts would impact on the future of its civil nuclear deal with Washington.
State department spokesman Sean McCormack, while being guarded in his comments at a briefing, also hoped that India would be able to come out with a workable plan to separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities before President George W Bush's visit in March.
Reacting to US Ambassador David Mulford's published interview in New Delhi, McCormack first said on Wednesday: "He (Mulford) was giving his personal assessment of how the Congress might react to such an action by India."
But even as he tried to deny that the Bush administration was tying India's vote on Iran to the civil nuclear deal, McCormack admitted the two were linked.
"Well, we deal with the Indian government on these two issues as separate issues," McCormack contended, but added: "Certainly, they come up in the same conversations, I'll tell you that.
"And we continue to encourage the Indian government to vote for referral. Ultimately, that is going to be their decision. And we also have been talking to them about the importance of making progress on their implementation plan for separating the civilian and military nuclear programmes."
Mulford indicated a negative vote by India at the IAEA meet Feb 2 would almost certainly dash hopes that the US Congress would pass any new law exempting India from the list of countries with whom Washington would not share nuclear technology and materials.
To this, McCormack said: "Let me be clear. Ultimately, how India votes on this matter is going to be a decision for the Indian government.
"They voted to find Iran in non-compliance the last time around and we certainly would encourage and hope that they vote for referral this time around.
"But I think what the ambassador was doing was talking about and reflecting the view that on Capitol Hill there are very strongly held feelings about Iran and the...need for the international community to act decisively and firmly and with a single voice concerning Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon."
For its part, Washington "would certainly encourage and we would hope that India would vote for a referral to the Security Council", McCormack admitted.
Asked of the implications if India did not vote against Iran, McCormack said: "We continue to work with the Indian government on implementation of the agreement that President George Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed during the prime minister's recent visit.
"We would certainly hope that we would be in a position to - before or as part of the president's visit to India - to make progress on this issue."
Part of making progress on this issue is for the Indian government to present a workable plan to separate its civilian and military nuclear programmes, McCormack noted. Those discussions are continuing.
EXACTLY! thanks for this ping... Urging this or that position is a form of communication, not control. I hope that both the Indian and American messages are clear to both sides and that mutual success is the goal of both. I believe it is! Do you agree or are there any puzzle pieces missing, in your opinion?
Indeed! I agree.
India's main concern actually is economic, where it sees Iran as its principal energy provider, viz., natural gas. And India is in stiff competition with China, for such resources.
It may be just me, but I have to tell you I think there is something going on in the background, with Saudi Arabia's king visiting India. Maybe both the US and India are trying to get Saudi Arabia as an energy supply "safety net" if action is taken against Iran.
I wont count on the Saudis for energy security. Never. In our case the Saudis are not exactly known to be allies, they have supported Pakistan is every war. The Saudis are now trying to suck up to us because we are now an economic heavy weight and also the worlds third largest energy market (and in a few more decades will become the second largest).
Should there be another war with Pakistan, the choice for Saudi Arabia will be easy. Lets not forget we are not Muslim.
The Saudis are thuggish bastards, there are plenty of expat Indians who'll attest to this. But they can be strong-armed into submission. By the US.
That said, India may need a strong assurance from the US that it will ensure Saudi Arabia provides India with the energy that it will lose if it goes against Iran. The strength and credibility of this assurance will decide whether India votes for or against Iran.
The Saudis are big time back-stabbers. I wont trust them and I doubt US has much leverage over them. The Saudis control the oil industry and even own a significant part of the US economy. No wonder they got away with 9/11.
The last thing we should do is depend on the Saudis.
The Iranian government and military are going down. That's virtually inevitable. Then the new government in Iran will sell oil and gas according to demands in the world market and without any condition in favor of terrorism.
The Iranian wackos had been making life rather easy for the Indian govt whatwith their comments on India's N-programme & threats to put Israel into an internal coma.Mulford's comments have created an unecessary strain of tension when he could have said the same thing & more to Indian officials in private.
About the KSA being a possible energy partner,well the big problem is that getting supplies from them would be far more expensive as there is no practical landroute,which would have made the Iranian pipeline costeffective in the longterm.Moreover,India is getting a lot of gas from Qatar,which is near the KSA & is pretty much a partner.Placing all your energy options into essentially one basket would'nt have been very smart,which is why Indian companies wanted the Iranian connection.Teheran did India's interests no good given that it has given CNOC of China a big stake in the Yadarvan fields,while ONGC of India has only a 20% stake.China is already a big player in Iran,It would be well nigh impossible for India to catchup even if it supports Teheran on the N-issue.
It keeps getting better and better.
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