Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday said the United States could not arrogate to itself the right to determine whether Iran's nuclear program was peaceful or not because it is for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to decide on the nature of Iran's nuclear program, reported local newspaper the Hindu on Thursday
"We are advising Iran that since it is a signatory to the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has some obligation to international treaties. We are telling the United States 'do not take on yourself the responsibility whether Iran was manufacturing weapons or not. Leave it to the IAEA, the designated authority'," Mukherjee said during an interaction with reporters at an orientation program on parliamentary reporting in New Delhi Wednesday night.
"It is not for me or for Iran to certify... it is for the IAEA to convince themselves whether 'Tehran's program is peaceful," he said.
The minister's remarks came one day after a spokesman of the Indian External Affairs Ministry said India could do without any guidance on Indian ties with Iran.
U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey Tuesday expressed the hope that India would ask Iran, during President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to New Delhi next week, to suspend its uranium enrichment activities.
Meanwhile, the Left parties and the United National Progressive Alliance Wednesday asked the Indian government to summon U.S. Ambassador in New Delhi to register its strong protest against Washington's "unsolicited advice"asking India to talk tough to Iranian President Ahmadinejad on the nuclear issue during his visit.
(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2008)