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Left wants Parliament debate on Iran

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February 05, 2006 15:51 IST

In a muted reaction to India's vote at the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Left parties on Sunday demanded a full debate in Parliament ahead of the crucial March meeting of the nuclear watchdog.

At the same time, the Left expressed deep concern over the violation in the Common Minimum Programme by the Manmohan Singh Government in economic matters, including on airport privatisation.

Contrary to their earlier tough postures against India voting in favour of any resolution that calls for referral of Iran's nuclear programme to the UN Security Council, they said

India's stand was regrettable and not in conformity with the pursuit of an independent foreign policy.

The parties demanded a full debate in the Budget session of Parliament on what stand New Delhi should take at the next meeting of the IAEA in March, which will take up the report of its Director-General Mohammad ElBaradei on Tehran's nuclear programme.

The parties, which provide vital outside support to the UPA coalition government, felt that the resolution adopted by the IAEA in Vienna on Saturday to report Iran's nuclear programme to the UN Security Council was questionable.

"At the present juncture, such a move will not be helpful in resolving the Iran nuclear issue through negotiations within the framework of the IAEA," CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters after a meeting of the Left parties.

He said 'maintenance of good relations with Iran which is our national interests'.

"Yesterday's vote was not a decisive one... and we are not making it an issue, Karat said after the meeting attended by CPI leader A B Bardhan, D Raja and Gurudas Das Gupta and Abani Roy and G Devarajan from the RSP and Forward Bloc respectively.

However, the forthcoming meeting of the nuclear watchdog in March was crucial and the government should not be party to any move for referral of Iran to the Security Council not countenance any recommendation for taking action through the UNSC, Karat said.

"We are demanding a full debate in the forthcoming session of Parliament ahead of the next meeting of the IAEA in March on what stand India should take in the meeting. The government should remember that there is no consensus on the issue in the country," he pointed out.

India and 26 other countries yesterday voted in favour of an IAEA resolution to report Iran's controversial nuclear programme to the UN Security Council.

The resolution, however, put off any UN action against Iran for at least a month, to allow time for diplomacy until the next meeting of the IAEA on March 6.

On economic matters, the Left parties expressed deep concern at the manner in which the Congress-led government is going ahead with the policies of privatisation and the recourse to FDI in certain vital sectors, even though some of these policies are contrary to the CMP.

"The policy of privatisation carried out by the government will have serious consequences for the country and its economy," Karat said, adding the meeting took stock of the airport employees' strike against privatisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports.

They also decided to discuss the matter within their own parties and take up the issue at the next meeting of the  Left parties.


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