India has said that the two-stage deal Iran struck with the U.S. and five other world powers on its nuclear programme was consistent with the position it had taken with Russia, Brazil, China, South Africa and other like-minded countries.

It also hoped the negotiators would display the same sense of accommodation — as they did in the run-up to the agreement — to clinch a final settlement over the next two months.

Syed Akbaruddin, spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, emphasised the point about the two-stage process: one was the agreement reached on Saturday between Iran and P5+1 (the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany); and the other was between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), done on November 11.

“Based on initial information available at this stage, I can say India welcomes the prospect of resolving questions related to Iran’s nuclear programme through dialogue and diplomacy,” he said.

New Delhi also welcomed the agreement with the IAEA, which Mr. Akbaruddin said “is the only competent technical agency to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities…”

Officials of the Ministry of External Affairs admitted that India had “nothing much to do with the process” that led to the agreement between Iran and P-5+1. But the mood in the run-up was upbeat among Iranian officials they interacted with.

“Anything that improves Iran’s economy would be useful. India-Iran ties did not gain much traction because of sanctions. The withdrawal of the sanctions will benefit the ties,” a senior official said.

Another official said the agreement was consistent with India’s stand that the issue should be resolved diplomatically, with the recognition of Iran’s right use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and in accordance with Iran’s international obligations as a non-nuclear weapon state.

The interim steps agreed upon in Geneva could build trust between Iran and the international community and lead to a long-term settlement of the issue, the official said. For this, diplomatic engagement must be continued in the same spirit of mutual respect and accommodation as in the last two months.

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