Iran Seeks India's Assurance on Respecting 'Muslim Sensitivities' During Strategic Talks in Delhi

© AP Photo / Misha JaparidzeIranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.06.2022
A massive diplomatic row has erupted between New Delhi and around 15 predominantly Muslim nations after Nupur Sharma, a now expelled spokesperson of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), delivered incendiary Islamophobic remarks during a TV debate on 26 May.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday sought assurances on respecting "Muslim sensitivities" from New Delhi. The top Iranian diplomat met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on the first day of his three-day visit to the South Asian nation.
Amir-Abdollahian is on his maiden foreign ministerial trip to India for the “strategic talks” between the two governments. After his official consolations on Wednesday, the Iranian FM will also travel to Mumbai and Hyderabad on the remaining days.
As per a readout of the meeting between Doval and Amir-Abdollahian, the top Iranian diplomat expressed concerns over the “negative atmosphere” created by some people who he said “disrespected” Prophet Mohammad.
The Iranian readout claims that Doval assured the Iranian foreign minister that “strict action” would be taken against the “wrongdoers” in the case or those who insult Islamic religious symbols.
An Indian Muslim man reads the holy Quran at Jami Masjid after Friday prayers in Ahmadabad, India, Friday, June 26, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.06.2022
Gulf Nations Summon India's Envoys as Massive Outrage Erupts Over Alleged Anti-Islam Remarks
Nupur Sharma, a now expelled spokesperson of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), mocked Prophet Mohammed and made derogatory remarks against the Quran, prompting more than a dozen Muslim nations to issue protest statements flagging their concerns.
Indian Ambassadors to Qatar, Kuwait, Iran and Malaysia were summoned by respective capitals to protest Sharma’s remarks. Doha has even demanded a “public apology” from the Indian government over the “blasphemous” comments.
The 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), headed by Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have also formally condemned Sharma's remarks. The Indian foreign ministry has rebuffed criticism from the OIC, describing its remarks as “narrow-media” and made at the behest of “vested interests”.
Indian missions in Qatar and Kuwait have said that Sharma’s views represent those of “the fringe elements”.
Gaddam Dharmendra, New Delhi’s Ambassador to Tehran, “expressed regret” and said that Sharma’s views don’t represent those of the Indian government, when he was called to the Iranian foreign ministry on 5 June.
As per a report in the official Islamic Republic News Agency earlier in the day, Amir-Abdollahian told reporters after his arrival in New Delhi that he would seek reiteration of New Delhi’s stance on the matter during his consultations.

India, Iran Discuss Afghanistan Situation, Connectivity

In his wide-ranging consultations with the Indian NSA, Amirabdolahian also spoke about “expanding” cooperation in counter-terrorism, in view of the situation in Afghanistan.
Both Iranian and Indian leaderships have expressed concerns over the use of Afghan territory by banned terrorist groups such as Daesh*, Al-Qaeda*, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)* and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)*.
In fact, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has warned of suicide attacks in New Delhi, Mumbai and the states of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat in retaliation to Sharma’s remarks.
Further, the Iranian dignitary called for expanding trade and investment ties between the two nations, which were seriously affected after former US President Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to pull his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 and impose punitive economic sanctions on Iran.
The economic relationship has picked up since the election victory of US President Joe Biden, who is renegotiating Washington’s entry back into the Iran Nuclear Deal. Currently, New Delhi and Tehran are also negotiating a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and routing more trade through the India-funded port of Chabahar, which is part of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
Meanwhile, The Indian foreign minister said that his talks with his Iranian counterpart focussed on trade, connectivity, JCPOA, Afghanistan as well the conflict in Ukraine.
Jaishankar also said that the two nations have signed a ‘Mutual Legal Assistance’ pact on civil and commercial matters during their talks.
*terrorist organisations banned in many countries.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала