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. Iran upbeat on Obama: Indian PM
WASHINGTON, Nov 23 (AFP) Nov 24, 2009
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday an Iranian official told him the Islamic republic was upbeat about US President Barack Obama, despite the stalemate over its nuclear program.

Singh, who will meet Obama on Tuesday on a state visit to Washington, revealed his conversations last week in New Delhi with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

"He mentioned explicitly to me that Iran is encouraged by the message it is receiving from the new Obama administration," Singh said at the Council on Foreign Relations.

"He was hopeful that they would lead to constructive, productive results," Singh said, adding that a resolution of the nuclear row "would be for the good of humanity at large."

Obama has reached out to Iran and offered talks to reconcile after 30 years of bad blood since the Islamic revolution.

But Iran's conservative government disappointed Obama and other Western leaders by last week rejecting a UN-brokered deal.

Under the proposal, Iran would send most of its stock of low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for conversion into fuel for the research reactor.

But Iran, which insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, said it was ready for a simultaneous exchange inside the country of its low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel supplied by the West.

India has historically maintained cordial relations with Iran but says it should not build nuclear weapons because Tehran -- unlike New Delhi -- is signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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