//Shia Muslims in Lucknow protest against India

Shia Muslims in Lucknow protest against India

Lucknow: Shia Muslims beat their chests and shouted slogans in Lucknow on Tuesday, criticizing the Indian government’s vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). On Saturday, New Delhi voted to report Tehran to the U.N. Security Council. Opposing the move, protestors here chanted anti-US and anti-government slogans and vowed to crush the United Progressive Alliance coalition government in the next elections.
“India and Iran have always shared very cordial relations. But this time we have come into the US threat. We have literally bowed down to the US challenge of voting against Iran. But the UPA government will have to pay for this folly. Each and every Muslim will vote against this government and we will show them our strength,” said Jameel Ramshi, an angry protestor.
The Congress party, however, has defended the government’s decision to vote against Iran, saying it would promote peaceful use of nuclear energy even as several sections including the Left parties stepped up criticism. The Left parties have sought a parliamentary debate to decide the country’s stand on the Iran nuclear programme, saying the move did not conform to India’s non-aligned foreign policy.
The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, IAEA, voted on Saturday to refer Iran to the Security Council. But the top U.N. body will take no action, including possibly imposing sanctions, until an IAEA report on Iran is delivered in March.
The Congress-led UPA government has, however, said that it voted against old ally Tehran to allow time for more negotiations and to consider Moscow’s proposal for enriching uranium fuel in Russia on Iran’s behalf—a move intended to ensure no fuel is diverted to build Iranian weapons. India’s stand at the IAEA meeting was keenly followed in the light of New Delhi’s growing ties with Washington and a landmark civil nuclear cooperation deal, the success of which was seen by some as tied to India’s vote against Iran at the IAEA.