//PM seeks restraint, flexibility on Iran nuclear issue

PM seeks restraint, flexibility on Iran nuclear issue

New Delhi, Feb.17 (PTI): Seeking restraint and flexibility on the Iran nuclear issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, today said India will support diplomatic efforts in the run up to the IAEA meeting in March to reach an amicable solution.

Making a suo motu statement on Iran in the Lok Sabha, Singh said such a "sensitive issue" involving the rights and international obligations of a sovereign nation could only be addressed through "calm, reasoned diplomacy and the willingness on all sides to eschew confrontation and seek acceptable compromise solutions". Left parties, which have castigated the Government’s decision to vote against Iran at the IAEA meeting earlier this month, and the Samajwadi Party demanded immediate discussion on the issue. Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, said this was not possible since the motion of thanks to the President’s Address to the joint sitting of Parliament has to be taken up first. He said a structured discussion could be held later.

In his three-page statement, the Prime Minister said India was "deeply concerned" over the "escalating rhetoric and growing tensions" and the possibility of a "confrontation" on this issue.

"This is a matter of concern for us as tensions in this region — where our vital political, economic and security interests are involved — affects us directly. The region hosts 3.5 million Indian citizens whose welfare is a major concern of my Government," he said.