[inline:1]Vienna--The United States has hailed the support India lent to the resolution adopted at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) against Iran's nuclear programme.
In his regular briefing yesterday, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said with this resolution the world has put Iran on notice. ''It is unacceptable the way Iran is behaving. And if it does not come into compliance, then the matter is going to be referred to the United Nations Security Council. The resolution clearly spells that out.''
He said for two decades Iran has hidden their nuclear activities from the international community and failed to comply with their international obligations.
''They need to abide by their international obligations, and they need to abide by their agreements with the Europeans.''
''We continue to support the diplomatic efforts of the Europeans to resolve this matter. But you saw at the IAEA that there is a growing majority of nations that recognise Iran's non-compliance must be addressed. And if they continue to fail to comply with their international obligations, then the matter is going to the United Nations Security Council. That was clearly stated in the resolution that was passed.''
''The resolution reflects the international community's deep concern about Iran's pattern of deception and concealment. And we will not tolerate it,'' he added.
Replying to another question on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's comments on women, Mr McClellan said, ''the United States is a leader when it comes to speaking out about violence against women, and taking steps to prevent it. And that is a message we state very clearly across the world. And in terms of the specific comments, I think that the government of Pakistan has addressed that matter and disputed some of the characterisations that were made.''
He said the U S National Security Advisor was travelling in the region and visiting Afghan and Pakistani officials and talking about ways Washington can continue to work together on important priorities.
Meanwhile, replying to several questions on the IAEA resolution State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, ''The vote that we saw over the weekend, I think, was a first good step. Our goal, working with the EU-3 and others on the IAEA Board of Governors is to get Iran back to the negotiating table with the EU-3. Nobody wants to see Iran obtain nuclear weapons, especially not under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. The process is not an end in itself; the process is merely a way to get to that goal.''
He expressed the hope that Iran would heed the signal and get back to the negotiating table.
Leading Congressman Gary Ackerman (Democrat-NY), has also praised the Indian government's decision to support the IAEA resolution finding Iran in non-compliance with its NPT obligations and condemning Iran's history of concealment with regard to its nuclear program.
Ackerman, who is also the Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, in a statement yesterday commended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his stand on the issue.
He said, ''The Indian government made the right choice in voting to urge Iran to comply with its international obligations and return to negotiations with the EU.''
''I commend Prime Minister Singh for his courageous decision to stand with those nations who insist that international commitments be upheld, and I look forward to continued cooperation between the United States and the Government of India as we, and the rest of the international community, work to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons,'' he added.