Iran General NewsU.S. plays down Iran ship visits to India

U.S. plays down Iran ship visits to India

-

Reuters: The United States on Monday confirmed that two Iranian navy ships had visited Indian ports last month, but played down the contact as the Bush administration struggles to win congressional approval for a landmark U.S.-India civilian nuclear energy deal. By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday confirmed that two Iranian navy ships had visited Indian ports last month, but played down the contact as the Bush administration struggles to win congressional approval for a landmark U.S.-India civilian nuclear energy deal.

President George W. Bush is pushing for changes in U.S. law and international regulations to allow nuclear technology sales for civilian energy purposes banned for 30 years because India developed and tested nuclear weapons and refuses to sign the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

But ties between India — which Bush envisions as a key U.S. strategic ally in the 21st century — and Iran — which the United States accuses of pursuing nuclear weapons and sponsoring “terrorism” — are complicating that goal.

State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said the ships visits were a “limited type of event, and doesn’t suggest Indian training or Indian contribution to an Iranian military capabilities.”

Defence News reported last week that while Bush was in New Delhi last month to sign the nuclear energy deal, two Iranian warships were in Kochi, headquarters of the Indian Navy’s Southern Command.

Quoting an Indian navy spokesman, it said Indian naval instructors briefed nearly 220 Iranian sailors on the Indian Navy’s training approach and course details.

Ereli said such reports were “overwritten.”

“Our understanding is that … there were ship visits by two ships with naval cadets from Iran into Indian ports. They were not training programs. They were ship visits with naval cadets,” he told a news briefing.

Ereli said Iranian navy ships visit a number of countries with whom the United States has close relations and “I don’t think that one undercuts the other.”

Nor should the visits mar India’s “firm commitment to nonproliferation” or its “strong record as a responsible international actor,” he insisted.

Congress remains divided over the nuclear deal, which nonproliferation experts say will allow India to more rapidly expand its nuclear arsenal and weakens controls on the spread of nuclear arms.

Administration officials reject this and say India, which espouses a policy of minimal deterrence, is unlikely to spark a South Asia arms race.

India, once leader of the non-aligned movement, has insisted on maintaining good ties with Iran, which Bush has called a member of the “axis of evil” with prewar Iraq and North Korea.

But it voted with the United States and most other countries to report Iran’s noncompliance with nuclear safeguards to the U.N. Security Council after U.S. members of Congress warned a failure to do so would jeopardise the nuclear deal.

Latest news

Iran’s Regime Claims To Fill Global Energy Gap Despite Crippled Petroleum Sector

In recent weeks, the Iranian regime’s officials have been constantly exaggerating their huge capacity in oil and gas reserves...

What Is Happening in Iran?

Following the brutal killing of Masha Amini, the Iranian people have once again united to fight and defeat the...

Iran Regime’s Ministry of Culture’s Decision To Eliminate Children’s Intellectual Centers

With the so-called ‘Cultural Revolution’ which took place between 1980 and 1983, the Iranian regime tried to purge the...

Water Shortage Crisis and the Destruction of Iran’s Water Resources

Iran is currently suffering from a number of dangerous natural disasters. One of the most worrying is the drying...

Economic Freedom Under the Rule of the Mullahs in Iran

The Fraser institute published its annual report of the index of economic freedom on September 8, which measured the...

Iran’s Regime Continues Its Internet Restriction Project

This is part of the outlook of a document by the Iranian regime’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace, which has...

Must read

German journalists held in Iran ‘are not spies’

AFP: Two German journalists arrested in Iran in October...

Iraqi forces attack Iranian opposition camp

Iran Focus: London, Jul. 28 - Iraqi forces on...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you