Diplomatic strategy averted Iran vote, says New Delhi

New Delhi, Nov 25 | Updated: Nov 26 2005, 05:48am hrs
The EU-3 (Britain, Germany and France) and Iran are likely to resume talks on the nuclear issue in early December even as India convinced the European powers that a vote in the IAEA might exacerbate the situation by provoking Tehran to pull out of the NPT and expel nuclear inspectors.

According to official sources, India had been in close touch with EU-3 on the Iran nuclear issue and is happy and relieved that a vote was avoided at the IAEA.

While asserting that Thursdays developments at the IAEA had opened a new door for resumption of talks between Iran and the EU-3, sources said a possible confrontation was avoided and Indias objective had been achieved.

India had put in concerted diplomatic efforts to avoid a vote at the IAEA on Thursday and held a number of meetings with the EU-3, the US, China, Russia and even South Africa. India is in touch with Iran also. Indias main argument is that it is in nobodys interest to precipitate the situation and a division vote might exacerbate the situation.

There are two dangers if the matter was sent to the Security CouncilIran could walk out of the NPT, it could expel nuclear inspectorssources added.

Our interest is that we would not like to see a tense situation in our neighbourhood and the region which would adversely affect Indias relations with Iran...Indias objectives were very clearly defined and we had worked very hard to avoid such a situation. We are happy and relieved that the situation had been avoided, the sources added.

Now that the door has been opened for a dialogue between EU-3 and Iran, the next signpost is in March, explained sources.

The UN nuclear watchdog has postponed the possible referral of Iran to the UN security council, according to an official statement summarising a meeting in Vienna on Thursday.

India has opposed the Iran nuclear issue being referred to the Security Council, and hoped that a way would emerge to reconcile Tehrans need for using nuclear energy for development with the world communitys concern over its proliferation.