India rejects US advice on Iran
BBC, 24 April 2008
"India and Iran are ancient civilisations whose
relations span centuries. Both nations are perfectly capable of managing
all aspects of their relationship with the appropriate degree of care
and attention. Neither country needs any guidance on the future conduct
of bilateral relations as both countries believe that engagement and
dialogue alone lead to peace," Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Navtej
Sarna, a foreign ministry
[see also International
Dimensions of the Conflict In Sri Lanka
- Nadesan Satyendra, 2 October 2007 and
"India's N-Deal only with the US"
- says US Envoy Nicholas Burns,
1 March 2008]
India has rebuffed a call by the United States for it to ask
Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme. The foreign ministry
said neither India nor Iran needed external guidance on how to conduct
It said relations between the two spanned centuries, and they were capable
of handling them with due care.
Earlier, a senior US official said Washington would welcome India telling
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to curtail Tehran's nuclear programme.
President Ahmadinejad (of Iran) is due to visit Delhi next week.
"India and Iran are ancient civilisations whose relations span centuries.
Both nations are perfectly capable of managing all aspects of their
relationship with the appropriate degree of care and attention," Navtej
Sarna, a foreign ministry spokesman, was quoted by the Indian Express
newspaper as saying.
"Neither country needs any guidance on the future conduct of bilateral
relations as both countries believe that engagement and dialogue alone lead
to peace," he added.
Earlier, US state department spokesman Tom Casey said: "We would hope that
the Indian government... would call on him [President Ahmadinejad] to meet
the requirements that the Security Council and the international community
has placed on him in terms of suspending their uranium enrichment activities
and complying with the other requirements regarding their nuclear
In the past, Tehran has singled India out for criticism over Delhi's support
for Iran to be referred to the UN Security Council over its nuclear plans.
In September 2005, Tehran threatened to reconsider its economic co-operation
with Delhi after India voted at the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) to refer Iran to the UN Security Council.
India and Iran have been in negotiations over a $7bn gas pipeline deal that
would help India's energy supply problems.
The Indian government came under attack both from the opposition as well as
communist allies for its decision to side with the West and vote against
Iran, a traditional ally. Critics said Delhi's vote was linked to the
India-US nuclear accord.
Washington suspects Iran of developing its nuclear programme for military
purposes. Tehran denies seeking nuclear arms, saying it wants nuclear
technology purely for peaceful production of energy.