Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Indias Training Of Iranian Military Could Dampen Nuclear Deal

Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Mar 31, 2006
India's alleged training of Iranian troops could dampen vital US Congress support for a bilateral landmark civilian nuclear deal, a ranking Democrat warned Thursday.

Tom Lantos, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives' powerful international relations committee scrutinizing the nuclear deal, expressed concern to visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran during talks here over New Delhi's training of the Iranian navy, the lawmaker's spokeswoman Lynne Weil told AFP.

"Congressman Lantos pointed out that episodes of conflict in relations between US and India, such as India's early wavering in its commitment to refer Iran to the UN Security Council and more recent concerns raised about Iranian troops receiving training from India will only undermine Congressional support for the deal," she said.

Reacting to the concerns, the Indian government said two Iranian naval ships with about 200 personnel were on a six-day "informal" visit to the southern Indian naval base in Kochi in March while on an annual sea training sortie in the Arabian Sea.

The port call was essentially "diplomatic-goodwill" and not part of any training package, said Venu Rajamony, spokesman for the Indian embassy in Washington.

He said the Iranian ships "interacted" with the Indian Navy as part of the visit, adding that activities included courtesy calls on Indian naval officers, navigational simulation and recreational activities such as yachting.

Washington is trying to rein in Iran's uranium enrichment activities amid suspicion that Tehran could be pursuing covert development of nuclear weapons.

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council in New York unanimously voted to give Iran 30 days to fall into line with long-running calls to abandon uranium enrichment.

India is treading a tightrope as it tries to firm up a civilian nuclear deal with the United States and maintain its traditionally strong ties with neighbour Iran.

In February, India voted with 26 other nations to refer Iran to the UN Security Council amid charges by communists within the ruling Indian coalition that New Delhi's foreign policy was being dictated by Washington.

Lantos and Saran on Thursday discussed the US-Indian nuclear agreement in the larger context of bilateral relations "which they agreed are blossoming in many respects," Weil said.

But Lantos noted that "at a time when gestures from allies are significant -- not symbolic gestures alone but substantive gestures -- the Indian government should look for opportunities to make gestures that underscore the strength of the bilateral friendship," she said.

The India-US nuclear deal gives energy-starved India access to long-denied civilian nuclear technology in return for placing a majority of its nuclear reactors under international inspection.

For it to be effective, the US Congress has to amend the US Atomic Energy Act, which currently prohibits nuclear sales to countries that are not signatories of the Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

India has refused to sign the NPT and has developed nuclear weapons on its own.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

Outside View Japans Quiet Nuclear Debate
Tokyo (UPI) Mar 29, 2006
Japan lost to China in the most recent dispute over Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead, where the so-called Class A war criminals are honored. But Japan won more than it lost -- a debate over whether Japan should go nuclear seems to have gotten off to a good start, thanks in good measure to that defeat. Funny thing is neither side is crowing.

  • India's Training Of Iranian Military Could Dampen Nuclear Deal
  • British, US Diplomacy Saved India, Pakistan From War: Straw
  • Outside View: Japan's Quiet Nuclear Debate
  • Outside View: US-India Nuke Deal Tensions

  • UN To Iran: Comply With IAEA
  • World Powers Urge Iran To Stop Enrichment
  • UN Sanctions Against Iran A 'Bad Idea': ElBaradei
  • Putin Stresses Russia's Need For Nuclear Deterrent

  • Lockheed Martin Submits Final Proposal Revision For APKWS II
  • NetFires Conducts Navy Ballistic Flight Test For NLOS-LS Missile
  • F-15K Makes History With SLAM-ER Release
  • South Korea Showcases New Missiles

  • BMD Dreams And Realities
  • US Invites Indian Officers To STRATCOM
  • Ballistic Missile Numbers Fall Worldwide
  • Boeing, ATK Team for Israeli Short Range BMD Competition

  • Lockheed Martin Delivers F-22 Raptor To Second Operational Squadron
  • CAESAR Triumphs As New Gen Of Radar Takes Flight
  • Northrop Grumman to Provide F-16 Fleet To Greek Air Force
  • US Offers India Advanced Fighter Aircraft

  • NGC Enhancing Network-Centric Warfighter Capabilities With Fire Scout UAV
  • QinetiQ Develops Antenna That Extends UAV Reach
  • Goldeneye-50 Completes Its 100th Flight
  • SatCon Wins Contract For Army's Future Combat System

  • Russia Calls US Charge Of Helping Iraq 'Politically-Motivated'
  • US Presses Moscow On Reports Of Spying For Iraq
  • Rumsfeld Will Not Resign Wants More Support For War Instead
  • US Will Query Russia On Reports Of Help To Iraq

  • Center Adapts Technology For F-35 Wind Tunnel Tests
  • US To Test 700-tonne Explosive
  • Engine Tests Continue For Spirit Stealth Bomber
  • LM Delivers MMSR For US Navy's Acoustic Naval Research Center

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement