Vote on Iran may be averted altogether

New Delhi, Nov 23 | Updated: Nov 24 2005, 05:30am hrs
The European Unions willingness to discuss a Russian proposal to revive nuclear talks with Iran next month has made it certain that there will be no vote in Vienna on Thursday a development that will make things easy for the UPA government here.

According to reports from Vienna on Tuesday, the EU troika Britain, France and Germany was considering a meeting to discuss the US-backed Russian idea under which Iran will convert uranium, but the enrichment will be done by Moscow.

The latest developments spell relief for the government here, which has been facing pressure from Left parties not to support any anti-Iran resoluton at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). If a voting takes place, the government may end up again voting against Tehran.

Iran has also finetuned a strategy to avert a vote in the IAEA, Mehr news agency quoted a top Iranian official as saying. Iran will study any proposals for joint ventures which guarantee Iran the right to produce nuclear fuel inside Iran, he noted.

If there is no unforeseen development, the IAEA board of governors meeting on Thursday is likely to defer a vote on the Iranian nuclear issue and instead opt for a statement voicing concern about disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ Khans link with Tehran.

This has shored up Indias optimism about resolving the issue within the ambit of the IAEA. We are hopeful that there wont be a vote this time. Everyone should give more time to the Russian proposal, according to senior officials.