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US interfering in our affairs: SP

US interfering in our affairs: SP
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The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s statement that India should not import oil from Iran is seen as an infringement on the sovereign rights of India by the Samajwadi Party.

Senior party leader Ram Gopal Yadav raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. He termed it an interference in the internal affairs of India and sought a clarification from the government.

‘This is a conspiracy to influence the foreign policy of the country. Iran is a friendly country, which always supports India. Will the US foreign secretary tell India who it should have good relations with and who it should not deal with? This is a serious matter and an issue of concern,’ said Yadav.

Apart from asking India to stop its oil import from Iran, Clinton said that the US would send its top energy experts to India to look into how India can reduce dependence on Iranian oil.

The Samajwadi Party leader alleged that the state-run oil companies BPCL and HPCL have reduced import of oil from Iran and it shows that the internal policy of the country is being being influenced by pressure from outside.

‘This is interference in India’s internal affairs as well as an attempt to harm our relations with Iran,’ said Yadav.

His colleague Naresh Agarwal echoed his sentiments and criticised the US. ‘Will the US now decide what our foreign policy should be? Iran has been friends with India for decades and we should not be dictated by what the US tells us.’

The Congress, however, reacted with circumspection, keeping its options open. Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told Millennium Post, ‘Hillary Clinton has given her suggestion to the government of India. The government always takes its decisions keeping the interest of the country in mind. Whether it is the question of importing oil from Iran or any other matter, it will be decided by the government in the interest of the country.’

The other Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari agreed with Alvi: ‘Our policy is very clear. Iran is a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, and we need to honour that. The government of India has made it very clear that we will take the final decision depending on our perception of the evolving situation.’
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