India right in voting against Iran: Tharoor

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 13:43

Tel Aviv: Justifying India`s vote against
Iran on its nuclear programme, former union minister Shashi Tharoor has said it was in line with the principle that Tehran had agreed to the terms of NPT and hence had to abide by it.

"We said we didn`t sign it, but you did sign it (NPT).
Since you did sign it you are subject to all the standards of
IAEA and if you are found to be not in compliance, or doing
things to hide from them, then we will vote against you
because you have violated the very principles for which you
had made solemn declarations," Tharoor said addressing a
gathering at Tel Aviv university.

Tharoor, former minister of State for External Affairs
and UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public
Information, made the comments in response to a query
regarding India`s position on Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty
(NPT) and Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

India twice voted against Iran in the International
Atomic Energy Agency in 2005 and 2009.

"I am not hiding anything in saying that India is not a
fan of NPT and has not been from the very beginning. We
thought that it was a deeply misguided treaty which
essentially enshrined apartheid in international law, which
basically said that only five countries had the right to have
something that nobody else did, and for us it was
fundamentally unacceptable," he said.

"It was wrong morally, ethically, legally and logically.
What we would have been very much in favour of, and remain
strongly in favour of, is total universal nuclear
disarmament", he emphasised.

Tharoor, who is on a visit to Israel to attend the annual
Herzliya conference which attracts leading Israeli politicians
and experts from world over, however, said that India "could
have accepted the NPT if the provisions of disarmament were
strengthened, were taken seriously, and there were evidence of
implementation".

"As you know there have been very little of any of those
and we are simply not prepared to accept any logic that says
Britain or France or China for that matter can have a weapon
that we can`t have," Tharoor argued.

However, we tend to take a somewhat perverse position as
good international citizens that those who have signed have to
uphold their obligations under it which is why we have taken
the position on Iran, he noted.

The former UN official also pointed out that India as a
general policy has never been in favour of proliferation and
in its entire nuclear history has never been guilty of
slightest act of proliferation.

Reacting to the issue of CTBT, Tharoor said that "it is
little more complicated".

"India`s objection to signing CTBT is more of a principle
than practice because we had no intentions to test again
following the 1998 test", he said.

"We just don`t like other people telling us not to test.
I think it is pretty clear that if all the other countries
agree to sign, India will not alone hold on to its position",
he said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 13:43

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