'Confront extremist Hindus': Ayatollah Khamenei slams Modi govt as Delhi riots strain India-Iran ties
Iran on Thursday continued its criticism of India over the Delhi riots, with the country's Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei saying that the Centre should 'confront extremist Hindus and their parties', and called for a stop to the 'massacre of Muslims'.
In a tweet, Khamenei said, 'The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India'
Iran has been one of the prominent international critics regarding the spate of violence that erupted in northeast Delhi over the CAA on 23 February
On Monday, Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif said that they condemned the 'wave of organised violence against Indian Muslims'
Iran on Thursday continued its criticism of India over the Delhi riots, with the country's Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei saying that the Centre should "confront extremist Hindus and their parties", and called for a stop to the "massacre of Muslims".
In a tweet, Khamenei said that the "hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India".
The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India. The govt of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam.#IndianMuslimslnDanger
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) March 5, 2020
Iran has been one of the prominent international critics regarding the spate of violence that erupted in northeast Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on 23 February. The three-day riots resulted in the deaths of at least 47 people and have left over 200 injured.
Khameinei's remarks have come just days after Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif condemned the "wave of organised violence against Indian Muslims".
"For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India. We urge Indian authorities to ensure the well being of all Indians and not let senseless thuggery prevail. (The) path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law," Zarif had said on Monday.
However, the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday summoned Iran's Ambassador to India, Ali Chegeni, and lodged a "strong protest" over Zarif's "unwarranted" comments.
The MEA had also said that Zarif's "selective and tendentious" characterisation of incidents in Delhi weren't acceptable.
"It was conveyed that his selective and tendentious characterisation of recent events in Delhi is not acceptable. We do not expect such comments from a country like Iran," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said.
While some analysts said that Tehran's continous criticism over Delhi riots is likely to further strain India-Iran relations, already negotiating the demands of US sanctions, others said that the two countries have strategic ties with each other, and also, "people-to-people" bonds that can't be ignored.
Though India-Iran relations have become delicate in recent times, the remarks are unlikely to have a deep impact.
Besides, according to a report by The Week, the Chabahar port in Iran remains a crucial project for India as well as Iran and the US.
"Once functional, the port will have the potential to influence the economy of central Asia. More importantly, the port is essential for Afghanistan. America recognises the game changer that Chabahar can be. So, while there was pressure for India to cut down oil imports from Iran to zero, Indian investment in the port are exempt from American sanctions. This becomes even more essential with the US pulling out of Afghanistan. It is the only transport link that bypasses Pakistan," the article said.
Stressing further on the importance of the Chabahar port, the news magazine argued, "India is mindful of the importance and the opportunity. While the criticism has certainly hit a raw nerve, it is unlikely to escalate any further."
With inputs from agencies
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