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‘Good US, Iran ties put us in key place’

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Feb 14, 2013, 1:10 pm IST
Updated : Feb 14, 2013, 1:10 pm IST

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid has said that India, by virtue of being “good friends with the US” and “extremely good friends with Iran”, is in a “significant position to be able to bridge

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid has said that India, by virtue of being “good friends with the US” and “extremely good friends with Iran”, is in a “significant position to be able to bridge the gaps and to provide the linkages that are necessary for a meaningful dialogue”. This view was expressed by external affairs Salman Khurshid while speaking at an international conference on Iran organised by the Global India Foundation. He explained how India did not accept the “unilateral sanctions” slapped by the US on Iran and went ahead with its regular engagement with the oil-rich nation. Admitting that Iran felt “disappointed” over India voting against it at the UN, the minister at the same time said both countries are able to continue their relationship and count on each other as “good friends”. He said that India sent a message to the world that it was not taking sides against Iran but was only taking a principled position and that despite sanctions “we would be there to be counted as a friend”. He noted that India has remained “good friends” with Iran in a substantive way despite the fact that it could not stand by that country in critical moments when it came to voting in the UN. “I know they would be disappointed, anyone is disappointed if you can’t get someone to stand by you in moments which are critical. But the important thing is we were able to continue talking with Iran and Iran understood why we were doing and what we were doing,” he said. The minister also said that India stands at the forefront of candidates who are seen in a position to give Iran the kind of comfort, advice and handholding that would be needed in the “very very critical and crucial discussions and dialogue that Iran needs to do”.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi