India, which voted for the IAEA resolution against Iran’s failure to implement fully all its safeguard obligations under the IAEA regime, has also made clear that this resolution should not be the basis of a “renewed punitive approach or new sanctions” against Iran.

Official sources in the Prime Minister’s delegation here, attending the CHOGM, said India’s support for the resolution was based on the key points contained in the report of the Director-General of the IAEA, ElBaradei.

At earlier Board meetings, India had consistently underlined the critical importance of dialogue between the Agency and Iran. It, however, felt that the conclusions drawn in Mr. ElBaradei’s report were difficult to ignore.

It was felt, these sources said, that the Agency’s safeguards system was the bedrock of the international community’s “confidence” that peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nonproliferation objectives can be pursued together and that the “integrity of the system” should be preserved.

It is evident that with India’s own stakes in finalising a reprocessing deal with the United States being high, the Indian government does not want to be seen on the wrong side of the nuclear nonproliferation regime. Striking a balance between these compulsions and its ties with Iran, India is adopting a conciliatory stance, asserting that the coming weeks should be used to expand the diplomatic space to address the issues. The door must be kept open for dialogue and avoidance of confrontation, official sources were at pains to say.

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