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Left parties may back govt on Iran nuclear issue

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Last updated on: November 21, 2005 16:08 IST

Left parties on Monday seemed to have agreed with the government's position on the Iran nuclear issue. The government believes that the matter should remain within the jurisdiction of the International Atomic Energy Agency and not be referred to the United Nations Security Council.

Briefing reporters after the Left-United Progressive Alliance Coordination Committee meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters, "Views were exchanged on India's stand on the Iran nuclear issue.

The government informed the Left parties of the progress made through diplomatic efforts. It was noted that the government's intention was to ensure that the matter remained within the jurisdiction of the IAEA."

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury, who was also present at the meeting, said, "Our position has all along been that any dispute about Iran's nuclear capability should be kept within the confines of the IAEA and not taken to the UN Security Council. Iran is a signatory to the NPT and has its rights and obligations.

The government has expressed its intention to make all diplomatic efforts to keep the issue within the confines of IAEA and this concurs with the views always held by the Left."

Asked about the IAEA findings that Iran's nuclear mission was based on illegal supply of inputs by controversial Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, Yechury said, "IAEA made these findings. Let them take a decision on their own."

In the past week, the Left parties had stepped up pressure on the government on the issue, saying they would rake it up in Parliament and the government would have to reverse its anti-Iran vote stand at the IAEA.

They also discussed the pension issue as well as the government's proposal to divest small portions of equity in profit making non-Navratna public sector units at the meeting.

Complete coverage: The Iran vote and after

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