India Underlines Iran’s N. Rights

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Iran had the right to have nuclear energy as an NPT member. “India cannot be a cheer leader or be part of a warmongering group, the nuclear dispute with Iran should be resolved through peaceful process,” Singh had told US President George W Bush during negotiations on the Indo-US nuclear deal, PTI reported on Friday, quoting Singh’s interview to ‘India Today’ magazine.

The Prime Minister’s comments came in an interview conducted over two months back while he was returning from the G-8 Summit of Industrialized countries in Germany. Singh had met Bush and other world leaders during his trip in June.

The magazine said its understanding was that excerpts of the interview could be published once the 123 agreement was reached.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made it clear to President George W Bush during negotiations on the Indo-US nuclear deal that India could not agree to a “bilateral” NPT or Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Singh recalled that the US President had told him in July, 2005, “Don’t expect me to help you to build bombs. I told him I didn’t expect the US to do that because with our previous achievements, we didn’t need anyone’s help.”

The Indian Prime Minister said, “I made it clear during the negotiations that we can’t agree to a bilateral NPT or CTBT. We have a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing and we will exercise restraint.”

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