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India Says It Will Pursue Own Path On Iran Nuclear Issue

26 January 2006 -- India's government says it rejects attempts by the United States to link India's position on the Iranian nuclear standoff to a nuclear-cooperation deal between India and the United States.

The Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that India will make its own independent judgment on the Iranian issue at the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The ministry was responding after the U.S. ambassador to New Delhi, David Mulford, was quoted on 25 January as saying the U.S.-India nuclear deal could be blocked by U.S. lawmakers if India fails to support U.S. moves to refer Iran to the UN Security Council.

Under the Indian-U.S. nuclear deal struck by U.S. President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year, the United States would share advanced nuclear technology with India, and India would separate its civilian and military nuclear programs and allow international inspections of its civilian atomic facilities.

Mulford suggested that "the [U.S.] Congress will simply stop considering" the deal, AP quoted Mulford as saying. citing an interview with Press Trust of India news agency.