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India terms US sanctions on its firms "unjustified"

New Delhi, Dec 29, IRNA-India on Wednesday termed "unjustified" the American decision to impose sanctions on its two firms for supplying some chemicals to Iran, asserting that the transfer did not violate Indian regulations or its international obligations.

The sanctions imposed by the US government on two Indian firms -- Sabero Organics Gujarat Limited and Sandhya Organics Limited -- under the US Iran Proliferation Act 2000 relate to the transfer of some chemicals, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said here today.

"Our preliminary assessment is that the transfer of such chemicals is not in violation of our regulations or our international obligations," he said.

Sarna said the imposition of sanctions by the US on Indian firms, "which in our view have not acted in violation of our laws or regulations, is not justified."

The spokesman emphasized that India's commitment to prevent onward proliferation is second to none.

"We have instituted a rigorous system of export controls and our track record in this regard is well known," he said, adding that India is working with the international community, including with the US, as a partner against proliferation.

A US media report on Tuesday said that the two Indian chemical companies along with six Chinese government-run firms and an Austrian will soon be sanctioned by the Bush administration for allegedly selling missile goods and chemical arms materials to Iran.

India also welcomed the US decision to lift sanctions on a retired scientist of the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC), Dr C Surender, saying it vindicated its stand that the restrictions had "no justification."

India had urged the US government to review the issue and withdraw the sanctions, Sarna noted.

The MEA spokesman said India also wants that sanctions against another doctor, Y S R Prasad, also a scientist with NPC, should be removed.

The US had imposed sanctions against Surender and Prasad in September last year on charges of helping Iran. Both scientists have denied the allegations.

The United States on Wednesday said the sanctions imposed against the two Indian firms for allegedly selling missile goods and chemical arms material to Iran were based on "credible evidence."

State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said the sanctions were imposed on the Indian companies besides five from China and one from Austria based on "credible evidence," but did not elaborate.

The new sanctions against the nine firms were taken under the Iran Non-Proliferation Act of 2000 that was passed to deter any support to Iran's nuclear, chemical and biological programs.

... Payvand News - 12/29/05 ... --

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