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India welcomes Iran nuclear deal; experts say significant breakthrough

New Delhi, April 3 India on Friday welcomed the understanding announced between Iran and the six world powers on the nuclear issue, while experts termed it as a “potentially significant breakthrough” and a “positive development” which would help remove hurdles in the purchase of oil from Iran as well as in payment issues.

The P5+1 group of world powers led by the US announced a “framework agreement” with Iran limiting its nuclear programme. The agreement outlines major points to be fleshed out in a final deal by June 30.

In a statement, the external affairs ministry, welcoming the understanding, said “a significant step seems to have been taken with agreement on the parameters of a comprehensive settlement to be negotiated by June 30.”

“India has always maintained that the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved peacefully by respecting Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy as also the international community’s strong interest in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.

“The announcement yesterday underlines the success of diplomacy and dialogue, which India has always supported and which we hope would lead to a comprehensive agreement by June 30.”

Terming it as a “positive development”, former Indian envoy R. Dayakar told IANS that the deal would help “remove hurdles in India-Iran ties in terms of trade and energy supplies and also investment”.

“The agreement will help remove the hurdles in terms of India’s oil purchases and payment settlement issues and also have an impact on oil prices and the outflow of oil,” he added.

Noted strategic expert C. Uday Bhaskar termed the accord as a “potentially significant breakthrough”.

Bhaskar told IANS that it “can alter the regional strategic framework in a positive manner, and bring Iran back into the global politico-diplomatic comity”.

“Iran can become a stakeholder in the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan, thereby not allow Pakistan to be the only neighbour who can engage with Kabul.”

“Iran can provide access to Afghanistan and Central Asia through the Chabahar; perhaps even the revival of the IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) pipeline; though this may be some years away,” he said.

Iran and France, Germany, Britain, China, Russia and the US sealed a breakthrough agreement on Thursday outlining limits on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for which Tehran was promised an end to years of economic sanctions.