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8/25/05

India's Foreign Minister to visit Iran in early September

New Delhi, Aug 25, IRNA-India's Minister of External Affairs, K. Natwar Singh, will travel to Tehran in the first week of September. It is expected the visit to Tehran will attract great deal of attention from the world, reports Times of India.

The visit will be the first contact with the new leadership in Iran and the United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi.

Singh is expected to meet the entire gamut of the Iranian leadership including the new chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and the new foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

As a student, Mottaki was in college in Bangalore when the Islamic Revolution took place in Iran.

He crossed over to Afghanistan and made his way to Iran on foot to join Ayatollah Khomeini.

Natwar's visit acquires importance in light of the fact that India is increasingly under international pressure to declare itself on Iran's nuclear ambitions.

In July, India had a narrow escape at the IAEA meeting - India is on the board of governors - which decided unanimously to slap Iran for having nuclear ambitions.

Any voting on the Iran nuclear energy issue at IAEA will put India in an uncomfortable situation.

The next IAEA meeting is in September which will discuss ways to deal with the fact that after Isfahan, Iran wants to open its facility at Natanz.

India has traditionally refused to comment on another country's nuclear program, as its own nuclear program had developed in the shadow of global censure.

... Payvand News - 8/25/05 ... --



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