India bans nuclear-related exports to Iran

India has banned the export of all material, equipment and technology which could contribute to Iran’s nuclear programme the Indian trade ministry said today.A statement said the “direct or indirect export and import of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water related activities” is prohibited.

The restrictions on trade in nuclear-related material which could contribute to the development of nuclear weapons are in compliance with last year’s United Nations Security Council decision.

The Indian government’s announcement came as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the international nuclear watchdog body, was putting the finishing touches on a report expected to confirm that Iran continues uranium enrichment activities, a finding that could trigger harsher UN Security Council sanctions.

Indian officials have in the past said that they do not want Iran to develop nuclear weapons, but at the same time stressed that more time was needed for diplomacy to resolve the Iran nuclear crisis.

Communist political parties crucial to the parliamentary majority of prime minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition have accused the government of bowing to pressure from the United States to act against Iran, a long-time Indian ally.

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