India summons Iranian envoy after Javad Zarif condemns 'organised violence'

Topics Citizenship Act | India Iran | NRC

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was in India in January and met PM Modi. (Source: Javad Zarif)
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday summoned Iran's ambassador to India Ali Chegeni and lodged a strong protest over the "unwarranted" comments by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the communal violence in the national capital. MEA said that Zarif's "selective and tendentious" characterisation of incidents in Delhi are not acceptable. 

In response to a media query, Kumar said India does not expect such comments from a country like Iran. "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. 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," he added.

The development comes a day after Zarif in a tweet condemned the deadly violence in Northeast Delhi and said, "Iran condemns the wave of organised violence against Indian Muslims. For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India. We urge Indian authorities to ensure the wellbeing of all Indians and not let senseless thuggery prevail. The path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law." 

The MEA's actions come in the backdrop of a shift in relations with Iran which has been on an upswing for the last few years. The two nations have been maintaining a cordial relationship and New Delhi has been actively involved with Tehran in the development of the strategically located Chabahar port in the Gulf nation.

A spate of communal violence left 47 dead while over 200 injured in several parts of Northeast Delhi. PTI
Zarif had recently visited India in January when tensions had escalated between Tehran and Washington after the killing of Iranian Commander Qassem Soulemani. 

The back and forth between India and Iran comes days after a spate of communal violence left 47 dead while over 200 injured in several parts of Northeast Delhi. The violence erupted as pro and anti-CAA protestors came face to face in the national capital as law and order situation took a beating.

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

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