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India is not part of design to topple Iran regime

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 06: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today (Mar 06, 2006) said India was not part of any design to topple the regime in Iran, and asserted that the country valued its relationship with Tehran and would not do anything against national interest.

Replying to the debate on the Iran issue in both Houses of Parliament, the Prime Minister said that while dealing with the matter of Iran's nuclear programme, India would keep in mind its own security, peace and stability in the Gulf region.

''The government's approach will be based on our consistent policy of promoting efforts for a resolution of issues through dialogue and discussions,'' he said.

Dr Manmohan Singh said it was yet not clear what position would be taken up by the Board of Governors of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at their meeting today in Vienna.

Assuring the members that the government was monitoring the situation closely and would deal with the Iran issue with the seriousness that it required, Dr Singh said India was of the view that confrontations must be avoided at all costs and that time must be given for diplomacy to work.

''All sides must work to find mutually acceptable compromise solutions.'' There had been discussions between Iran and Russia as an attempt of the international community to explore peaceful solution to the issue, he said.

The Prime Minister said discussions were already on in Vienna and whenever the matter was taken up, India would work with all like-minded countries including those from the NAM, for a ''mutually acceptable resolution to the issue''.

He said his government was committed to widening, deepening and expanding India's ties with Iran for diverse and mutually beneficial relations and Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed had recently visited Iran and held discussions with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and several other leaders of his government there.

In the Rajya Sabha, responding to the concern expressed by members of the Left parties on US President George W Bush's statement in India hinting at efforts to change the regime in Iran, the Prime Minister said India was not part of any such international effort.

Dr Singh also said he had had talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin who was holding discussions with Iran, and said India did not favour confrontation, rhetoric or coercive measures as they only exacerbate tensions in the region and beyond.

''The Russian President has assured me that his bid was also in this regard,'' he said.

UNI

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