Stating his opposition to UN sanctions on Iran under US pressure, Paswan, in an exclusive interview, told IRNA that "America is nobody's friend and is after its own interests in its relations with other nations."
Paswan, while being interviewed in his capacity as leader of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), described relations between India and Iran as "very good" and "old."
"Our relations with Iran are very old and we always had good relations. Whatever is in Iran's interest is also our interest. We do not like any sort of pressure on Iran which may harm it," Paswan said.
While outlining the impact of sanctions on Indian companies' interests in Iran, Paswan said that besides Indian private companies the sanctions will also affect the country's national interests, particularly its fertilizer plants which are gas-based.
For example, plants in Gorakhpur, Barauni, Haldia, Durgapur, Kanchal, Ramagundam will all shut down and fail to function due to lack of gas, he said.
Paswan, speaking of US intentions in its growing relations with India and their effect on Iran, said that Indian intentions in its relations with the US are commercial and that in the long-term it will be revealed whether the US has good intentions -- commercial or political -- in its relations with India.
On the US invasion of Iraq and its continued presence in the region, Paswan said that whatever Americans did and are doing in the country are totally wrong.
In particular, it can be said they behaved completely as aggressors in whatever they did in Iraq, he said, adding that the way Americans are targeting Iran is opposed by Indians.
On recent developments in Indo-US relations and their effect on the age-old Indo-Russian ties, Paswan said that he did not think the US "is sincere or really close to any country."
"It always tries to create tensions between India and Pakistan (divide and rule policy) and otherwise try to maintain the balance of power by manipulating relations between India and China. And the US is playing the entire game in accordance with its own interests. We, too, have our own interests for a while and that is economical interest in ties with America but still they have their own interests."
Turning to the subject of Muslims' backwardness in India, he said: "Since the beginning of my political carrier when I was an MLA (member of the Legislative Assembly) in 1969 and later became an MP (member of Parliament) in 1977 and then Labour and Welfare minister of India, I had initiated and supported the cause of the Dalits and minorities on the issue of reservations in government jobs and political reservations according to their population in the legislative assemblies of states, lower house of Parliament (Lok Sabha). I advocated one special component plan to be included in the total budget of the country that would provide funds for Muslims and minorities to be spent for their education and social welfare." Ram Vilas Paswan is a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India. He represents the Hajipur constituency of Bihar and is a member of the Janata Dal United (JDU) political party.
Paswan is a Dalit Indian politician from the northern Indian state of Bihar, one of the poorest in the country. He currently leads the Lok Janshakti Party which he founded in 2000.