03/07/2006, 00.00
PAKISTAN – INDIA – IRAN
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No force against Iran, say India, Pakistan

Military action "would only serve to make the situation worse". Iran "has the right to develop a civil nuclear programme".

London (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Pakistan's "view is that there should not be any military intervention to resolve the matter of Iranian atomic energy" and in case of a unilateral US decision to go ahead, Pakistan "would certainly not be party to any such action", the Pakistani Prime Minister has said. Shaukat Aziz was speaking this morning during a two-day visit to London, where he is attending a meeting: "Asia 2015: Promoting Growth, Ending Poverty".

"We think Tehran should not proliferate. We're against production of any nuclear weapons in the region," said the premier. "However, we think Iran does have the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under safeguards and guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency. On the current stalemate in negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the United Nations agency, Aziz said "negotiation is the way to go" and that he was "cautiously optimistic" about the outcome of the talks.

Much the same was said yesterday by the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, who declared he was "confident" about the possibility of reaching a solution acceptable to all. To this end, he urged parties "to give time for diplomacy to do its work".

Singh addressed India's federal parliament on the same day of the meeting of the IAEA governors' council, which has not yet pronounced its verdict. "We do not favour confrontation or coercive measures against Iran as these only exacerbate tensions in the region and beyond," said Singh.

On 4 February, India was one of 27 nations which voted to refer Iran to the UN Security Council. However, opposition parties say the "vote reflects a servile attitude towards Washington, which in return has guaranteed New Delhi's use of atomic energy".

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International nuclear agency to decide Iran's fate today
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