Iran stance may be revised

New Delhi, Nov 16 | Updated: Nov 17 2005, 06:42am hrs
With intense pressure being mounted by the Left parties on the Iran vote issue, the government appears to have decided to revise its stand on the controversial matter.

Government sources on Wednesday asserted that a firm thinking had emerged to avoid voting in favour of the US-backed resolution against Irans nuclear programme when it comes up at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board in Vienna on November 24. Efforts, instead, would be doubled in the next few days to engage diplomatically the pro action countries in trying to postpone the IAEA vote.

In the event that such an approach was not possible, India was likely to abstain from voting on the resolution. This would be contrary to the earlier stand on September 24, when India had voted in favour of the IAEA resolution imposing curbs on Irans nuclear programme. Russia and China had abstained.

The Left parties, which have threatened to put the government in the dock in Parliament on the issue, will be conveyed the decision at a meeting of the UPA-Left coordination committee which is likely to be convened by Sonia Gandhi this Sunday.

CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, who has termed the UPA position as a violation of CMP, said on Tuesday the government would have to spell out its stand before November 24.

Indication that the Left concerns on the issue would be accommodated came when water resources minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, holding additional charge of parliamentary affairs, said, The government will not allow any of its allies, outside or inside, have any discomfort. Their concerns will be taken care of.