Thursday, February 02, 2006

Iran Warns India Ahead Of IAEA Vote

There could be serious risks for India if it supports any vote against Iran at the IAEA, warned a senior Iranian official. Dr Mostafa Zahrani told reporters in New Delhi that Iran is bound by its Parliament to end all interaction with IAEA if it is referred to the security council. Zahrani does not belong to the Iranian foreign ministry, but as director of the Institute of Political and International Relations in Tehran. He is the foreign ministry's think tank.
Mostafa Zahrani
This is the reason why his words carry weight and when he says that there could be consequences for India if it voted against Iran at the IAEA, it’s a cause of concern for the UPA Government. "I am not optimistic if India repeats what happened last time. I can't convince myself that the reaction in Iran would be something less than negative," Zahrani said. He left unsaid what these consequences could be, but warned that Iranian reactions will be dictated by Iranian law and constitutional processes. "Iran's Parliament has passed a law which says reference or report of Iran to the Security Council will not be tolerated because based on what is said by Parliament, Iran will stop all voluntary cooperation with the IAEA," Zahrani said. But the window for a diplomatic settlement is still open and latest reports suggest Iran may be ready to accept a proposal to enrich uranium on Russian soil. That could win it a more favourable report from the IAEA in March. If all goes well, Iran and its nuclear ambitions may give the world and India's crisis managers a hard earned break, at least for some more time.