Prophet remarks issue not raised in meeting with Iran foreign minister: MEA
A day after Iran claimed India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval assured its Foreign Minister of dealing firmly with offenders regarding remarks against Prophet Mohammad, India on Thursday said the Iranian readout was pulled down. The readout issued late Wednesday by Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the issue of remarks was raised during the meeting between Doval and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Delhi talks. The NSA reaffirmed the Indian government’s respect for Prophet Mohammad, saying offenders will be “dealt with, at the government and related levels, in such a way that others will learn a lesson,” it said.
Responding to queries about the NSA’s reported assurance, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said here on Thursday: “I don’t like to comment on comments between senior dignitaries. My understanding is that what you are referring to in a readout has been pulled down (by Iran). However, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval or his office did not respond to Iran’s claims.
The MEA spokesperson also said, “my understanding is that this issue was not raised during that conversation” when asked if the issue of controversial remarks came up during the meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister.
On Wednesday, Iran praised India for their respect for the religious head and historical co-existence between various faiths. The Iranian minister tweeted late Wednesday “Pleased to meet PM Modi, FM Jaishankar and other Indian officials to advance our bilateral strategic dialogue. Tehran and New Delhi agree on the need to respect divine religions and Islamic sanctities and to avoid divisive statements. determined to bring relations to new heights.”
An Iranian statement issued after meeting with Doval late Wednesday said the foreign minister hailed the Indian people and the government for their respect for Prophet Mohammad as well as for their religious tolerance and historical coexistence between various faiths.
According to the now-deleted statement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry – The Iranian Minister called for attention to the sensitivities of Muslims, adding “Muslims are satisfied with the stance of Indian officials in dealing with the culprits.” It said Abdollahian announced that Iran prefers “no limits” for the expansion of ties with India. Abdollahian raised the issue of the “negative atmosphere” triggered by “disrespectful” comments on the Prophet.
This is the first visit to India by a senior minister of a member nation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) after the controversial remarks triggered anguish in the Arab World. Also, Abdollahian’s visit came days after Iran joined Kuwait and Qatar in summoning the Indian ambassadors over the remarks against Prophet Mohammad.
Since then, several countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Bahrain, Maldives, Malaysia, Oman, Iraq, and Libya denounced the comments.
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