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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

India betrays a friend; sides with US in Iran Nuclear stand

[b]India betrays a friend; sides with US in Iran Nuclear stand off[/b]

By Neeraj Nanda

The decision of India to support the US against Iran in the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) is being seen as a big diplomatic breakthrough for the US. For the first time India abandoned a Third World country to favour the US and its European allies.

The resolution at the IAEA which refers the issue to the United Nations Security Council (for possible economic sanctions against Iran for not fulfilling its obligations under the NPT which it has signed and denied by Iran) was against India’s earlier stand that the issue be resolved within the IAEA. What is baffling is that India did not even abstain like Russia, China, South Africa and Pakistan among others. This is a clear shift in India’s non- aligned, independent and pro Third World foreign policy.

International observers had noted India wavering on the issue some time back. This happened after the Indo–US deal in July under which the Bush administration decided to help New Delhi to tap civilian nuclear energy even though it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also indicated while returning from his France and UN visit that the US and India have common motives, the Iran Gas pipeline project was at an early stage and it’s policies favouring Iran should be seen in the context of India’s Shia population.

Major fallout

Major fallout of the pro US vote at the IAEA will be on the diplomatic front, a setback to relations with Iran. ‘The Hindu’ reports that Iran has informed India that the five-million-tonne a year Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export deal, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2009 for a 25-year period, is off. This was conveyed to Indian officials in Vienna soon after the anti-Iran vote was cast. Indian Express reports India having explained that its decision was based on 'very careful consideration' and aimed at averting a 'major confrontation' between Tehran and the international community.

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