Left toughens stand on Iran vote

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 07:41am hrs
Toughening their posture on the Iran nuclear issue, the Left parties on Tuesday told the Manmohan Singh government to make clear Indias stand and threatened that another vote against Tehran at the November 24 IAEA meeting would have consequences for the UPA government.

At separate press meets here, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat and CPI leader AB Bardhan said the Left would formulate joint action in Parliament along with the Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal-S if the government refused to correct its stand on the Iran nuclear issue.

In a hard-hitting statement, Mr Bardhan said the government would have to repent if it repeated its vote against Iran at the next meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Geneva. It is better the government be warned in advance, Mr Bardhan said.

When asked how the Left would react if the government ignored its concerns, he said there could be many options like raising the matter in Parliament.

Mr Karat, who also indicated the matter would be brought to Parliament if the situation warranted, said he still hoped that the government would correct its stand on Iran.

Asked if there was still room for discussions with the UPA leadership on the issue, he said. If the Prime Minister wants to have talks with us, we are available.

India voted against Iran on September 24 for no reason except that the US pressurised us, Mr Karat said.