Friday, September 30, 2005

India's vote against Iran: The drama continues

Indian papers are still all over india's decision to vote against Iran in IAEA. According to the latest reports, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision to side with the United States and European Union on the issue of referring Iran's nuclear programme to the United Nations has been welcomed in the US but drawn severe criticism from his close allies, the communist parties.The left parties, on whose support Dr Singh depends for his own political survival, have launched blistering attacks on him for his supposedly pro-American stance.

The papers also report that what has added fuel to the fire are revelations in the media that India had assured the US in July itself about its commitment to vote against Iran:"It was around this time that Dr Singh was in Washington to sign the path-breaking nuclear deal with President George W Bush. Newspaper reports, based on transcripts of the proceedings in the House International Relations Committee of the US Congress, have claimed that the anti-Iran vote at IAEA was part of the reciprocal assurances given by India, in return for nuclear cooperation with the US."

Today outlookindia.com also reported that according to an American expert the US shared highly classified intelligence data on Iran's alleged efforts to develop a nuclear-capable missile to secure India's vote for the IAEA resolution against Tehran's nuclear programme.

In another development Hindustan Times reports that US President George W Bush on Friday called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and "is understood to have appreciated India's stand on the Iran nuclear issue." the paper adds that "Bush's call is a strong indication that his administration is serious about the promise of putting the deal through the US Congress, despite opposition from a powerful non-proliferation lobby."