AFP: India on Tuesday said Iran had the right to peaceful use of atomic energy but asked Tehran to cooperate with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, an official said.
NEW DELHI (AFP) — India on Tuesday said Iran had the right to peaceful use of atomic energy but asked Tehran to cooperate with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, an official said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a "short discussion on" the nuclear issue, said New Delhi's foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon.
India, which tested nuclear weapons in 1998 and is yet to sign the non-proliferation treaty, had a "very clear" view on the situation, Menon added after the Iranian leader's talks here on the final leg of a three-nation South Asian tour.
"We have said that Iran has the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy while fulfilling her various obligations, and that the right way to do that is through the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to assure the world that she is fulfilling her obligations," Menon said.
India's comments came a day after the IAEA's deputy chief Olli Heinonen held fresh talks with Iranian officials.
Tehran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and aimed solely at generating energy but the West fears Iran could be seeking an atomic weapon.
The IAEA has said it is still unable to confirm the nature of Iran's nuclear programme and complained that it has defied repeated UN Security Council ultimatums to suspend uranium enrichment.
Enrichment can be used to develop an atomic bomb as well as produce nuclear fuel. In March, the United Nations Security Council slapped a third set of sanctions against Iran in the space of 15 months to punish Tehran's repeated refusal to suspend the process of uranium enrichment.