Iran has right to pursue civil nuclear ambitions: India

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 11, 2013 16:01 hrs

Berlin: India today stressed on the need for a diplomatic solution to the "complicated" matter of Iran's contentious nuclear programme even as it supported Tehran's right to pursue civil nuclear ambitions for peaceful purposes.

The views were expressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his interaction with German Chancellor Angela Merkel here.

Apart from trade issues, the two leaders also discussed crucial international issues such as combating terrorism, Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear programme and situation in Syria.

On Iran, Merkel said they discussed the issue "briefly" with eye on ongoing (P5+1) talks. "I am personally disappointed that the ongoing negotiations have not proved successful. As far as Germany is concerned, we are quite concerned there".

The talks between five UN permanent members along with France and Iran are being held with focus on Tehran's nuclear programm.

US, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

However, Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The Iranian delegation is headed by Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili while the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, represents the P5+1 group -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany.

However, on his part, Prime Minister Singh talked about the issues such as India's dependence on Iranian Oil and presence of Indian population in that region while reiterating country's position.

While supporting Iran's right to pursue its civil nuclear ambitions for peaceful purposes, Singh also said as a NPT signitory Tehran should not go nuclear weapon way.

The Prime Minister also said diplomacy should be given greater chance to resolve this "complicated" matter.

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