India police inspect car after embassy attack_390.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Trade between New Delhi and Tehran is unlikely to be affected by a
recent bomb attack on Israeli targets in the Indian capital, Indian's
commerce minister said on Wednesday, despite Israel's accusations and
Western sanctions against Iran.
Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma
was in Islamabad heading the first ministerial-level trade delegation to
India's neighbor and rival Pakistan in decades and added that the
investigation is ongoing.
"I don't think that trade and these
things are inter-related," he told Reuters. "The investigations are on,
and those behind this serious attack will be brought to justice."
The comments echoed a similar statement
made Tuesday by Indian Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, who said
that he didn't think trade would be affected. Speaking during a visit to
Israel, Nath told The Jerusalem Post
that his country "in no uncertain words” condemns the embassy attack.Israel
accused arch-enemies Iran
and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of being
behind twin bomb attacks that targeted Israeli embassy staff in India
and Georgia on Monday. Tehran has denied involvement
in the attacks, and
India has been pointedly silent on Israel's accusation.
head of a trade association in India said he feared the bombing would
undermine the country's determination to pursue trade with Iran as wary
exporters back away from fresh deals.
"The attack and its
political fallout have clearly vitiated the atmosphere. Traders who were
already losing money due to payment defaults will be extremely wary of
continuing their trade with buyers in Iran," Vijay Setia, the president
of the All India Rice Exporters' Association, told Reuters.
has not gone along with new financial sanctions imposed by the United
States and European Union to punish Iran over its disputed nuclear
program. Instead, New Delhi has come up with elaborate trade and barter
arrangements to pay for oil supplies.
New Delhi has good
relations with both Iran and Israel, and so the attack makes its
diplomatic balancing act between the two countries all the more
difficult, and has thrust the mounting tension between the Middle East
rivals onto its doorstep.Nadav Shemer contributed to this report.