In a talk just over a week ago at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, Stephen G. Rademaker — who left his job as Assistant Secretary for Non-proliferation and International Security at the U.S. State Department last December - said, referring to India’s changing attitude towards non-proliferation, "[t]he best illustration of this is the two votes India cast against Iran at the IAEA. I am the first person to admit that the votes were coerced."
The Indian government to date has not denied this accusation and has remained silent. Whilst the US Ambassador to India, David Mulford, issued a statement, reported in the Times of India, that Rademaker's claiming that the statements attributed to Mr Rademaker were inaccurate the Hindu newspaper which first reported the story on Friday 16th February, has refuted Mr Mulford’s dismissals, pointing out that Mr. Rademaker spoke before an audience of 20 people and that the Hindu’s Associate Editor, Siddharth Varadarajan, had taken detailed notes. Ambassador David Mulford had himself caused controversy on this issue when he warned in January 2006 that a deal giving India US nuclear technology could collapse if India did not back the UN motion against Iran.
The growing storm comes ahead of the meeting of senior diplomats from the five permanent Security Council nations and Germany in London tomorrow over a new resolution to try and increase pressure on Iran. It also adds strength to those who have argued against the legitimacy of Iran’s referral to the UN Security Council and the subsequent passing of Resolution 1737. In 2005,the US and the UK concentrated their efforts in the Governors' Board of the IAEA to first condemn Iran for not meeting its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and then to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, when Iran’s enrichment programme had not in fact, breached any article of the NPT..
Professor Abbas Edalat of Campaign Iran said today;
"The revelation that the US coerced India into voting against Iran on this crucial issue is of global significance. It brings into question the entire legitimacy of the decision by the Governors' Board of the IAEA to refer Iran to the Security Council and the consequent passing of Resolutions 1696 and 1737 and any future resolutions against Iran the UN might pass. It also raises the question, “how many other members of he Governors' Board of the IAEA were coerced by the US to politicise Iran's nuclear file, refer it to the UN Security Council and bring about first resolution 1696 and then resolution 1737?”. As in the run-up top the invasion of Iraq, UN resolutions are being used to give a veneer of legitimacy and provide a pretext for an illegal US pre-emptive strike against Iran. In Iraq, the invasion was ordered “in support of UN authority”. The same justification is likely to be used by the Bush administration for strikes on Iran. We are demanding an immediate high level investigation to the use of coercion by the US and its allies within the IAEA."
Mr Rademaker was appointed Acting Assistant Secretary for Non-proliferation and International Security in the State Department. He quit the State Department earlier this year and is now a paid lobbyist of the Indian government in Washington. In the US State Department's website he is still referred to as Acting Assistant Secretary for Non-proliferation and International Security.
The story has been reported extensively in the Hindu and the Times of India
Ambassador Mulfords statements of January 2006 are reported by the BBC
Campaign Iran (CASMII)