India welcomes Iran-P5 engagement: Manmohan Singh

Washington, Nov 25 ( Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said he supported the engagement between Tehran and the five permanent members (P5) of the Security Council over the nuclear standoff, but reiterated that India did not support Iranian nuclear ambitions.

“India enjoys good relations with the US and Iran. On the issue of nuclear ambitions, our position is well-known,” Manmohan Singh told reporters here when asked whether India can play the role of a mediator in resolving the nuclear impasse.

India has made it clear many a time that it does not favour another nuclear weapon state in its neighbourhood and favoured dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the issue of the Iranian nuclear programme.

Alluding to his discussions with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in New Delhi last week, Manmohan Singh said: “He (Mottaki) was hopeful that the engagement with P5 members will succeed. We would welcome an engagement between Iran and the P5,” he said.

“I sincerely hope this agreement will be very productive,”

Manmohan Singh said.

The US establishment has tended to view India’s engagement with Iran over a pipeline project with suspicion, but with the Obama administration reaching out to Tehran, Iran has become less of an issue in the India-US relations.