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Tell us about Iran before Nov 24: Left to govt

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November 15, 2005 15:27 IST

The United Progressive Alliance government should make clear its stand on whether to refer Iran to the United Nations before the International Atomic Energy Agency meets in Geneva on November 24, CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat said on Tuesday.

"India voted against Iran on September 24 for no reason except that the US pressurised us. If the Indian government takes a stand against Iran at the next IAEA meeting, the Left will raise the matter in Parliament," he said.

The Left parties, Janata Dal-Secular and Samajwadi Party have collectively decided to raise the issue in Parliament.

"We will decide later in what form the matter is to be raised. But I still hope that the UPA government will see reason," he said.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan too warned the government, saying it 'will have to repent' if India repeated the vote against Iran.

"It is better the government be warned in advance. If there is a vote again and they still vote against Iran, the Left parties will meet along with parties like Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal (S) the next day to discuss the issue," he said.

Asked if options will include withdrawal of support to the government, Bardhan said, "All that I want to say is if they vote again they will have to repent."

There could be many steps before the final rupture, he said, adding that the Left parties could ask for a discussion on the issue in Parliament followed by a vote.

When the Left lodged its strong protest on the issue, the prime minister had only said that he would think about it and try to evolve a consensus.

Lambasting the UPA Government on a host of issues ranging from defence co-operation with America to the move to allow FDI in retail sector, Bardhan said the Left considered the vote against Iran in IAEA as 'a shameless surrender' to the US pressures and giving up India's friendship with and leadership of the third world countries.

"There is no evidence of Iran's nuclear programme. Why then this attempt to crucify that country? What do we gain by losing the friendship of small and developing countries?" he asked.

"Soon after they voted on the issue, we told them that this will not do. They had taken the whole world by surprise. But the prime minister kept quiet," Bardhan said.