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India protests Iran minister's comments on Delhi violence, summons envoy

Official sources said that the Iranian envoy was conveyed that Zarif commented on a matter which is purely internal to India

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

India on Tuesday summoned Iran's Ambassador Ali Chegeni and lodged a strong protest over the "unwarranted" comments by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif over communal violence in the capital.

The Iranian envoy was conveyed that Zarif's "selective and tendentious" characterisation of incidents in are not acceptable, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

In a tweet on Monday, Zarif said condemned the "wave of organised violence against Indian Muslims" and urged Indian authorities to "not let senseless thuggery" prevail.

In response to a media query, Kumar said India does not expect such comments from a country like

"The Iranian Ambassador to India Mr Ali Chegeni was summoned and a strong protest was lodged against the unwarranted remarks made by the Iranian foreign minister," he said.

"It was conveyed that his selective and tendentious characterisation of recent events in are not acceptable. We do not expect such comments from a country like Iran," he added.

The ties between India and have been on an upswing over the last few years.

ALSO READ: Delhi violence: Over 3,000 distress calls on Sunday, most from Shaheen Bagh

Notwithstanding US sanctions against Iran, India has been maintaining cordial relationship with Tehran and have been actively involved in development of the strategically located Chabahar port in the Gulf nation.

Zarif had visited India in January in the midst of Tehran's escalating tension with the Trump administration over killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Sulemani in a US military strike.

"Iran condemns the wave of organized violence against Indian Muslims. For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India. We urge Indian authorities to ensure the wellbeing of ALL Indians & not let senseless thuggery prevail," Zarif tweeted.

"Path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law," he added.

ALSO READ: Delhi violence: Muslim BJP leader claims mob torched his, relatives' houses

The capital witnessed horrific violence last week following clashes between supporters and those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act. According to authorities, at least 42 people were killed in the violence.

Massive protests took place across India in the last two months over the new law with the opposition parties and rights groups terming it as violative of founding principles of Indian Constitution.

Rejecting the criticism, the government has been accusing the opposition parties of misleading people on the law for political gains.

The new law provides for granting citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who were victims of religious persecution.

First Published: Tue, March 03 2020. 12:18 IST