Prophet issue not raised at Iran min’s meet with Jaishankar: MEA

Updated on Jun 10, 2022 05:07 AM IST

Amir-Abdollahian began a three-day visit to India on Wednesday by holding talks with external affairs minister S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and meeting PM Narendra Modi.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar with foreign minister of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in New Delhi. (PTI)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar with foreign minister of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in New Delhi. (PTI)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Iran’s foreign ministry on Thursday scrubbed parts of a conversation between foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on the controversial remarks against Prophet Mohammed from a readout posted on its website.

Amir-Abdollahian began a three-day visit to India on Wednesday by holding talks with external affairs minister S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Amir-Abdollahian’s talks largely focused on a range of issues such as trade, connectivity and counter-terrorism.

The original readout issued on Wednesday by Iran’s foreign ministry on the talks between Amir-Abdollahian and Doval said the foreign minister referred to the “negative atmosphere” created by the controversial remarks about Prophet Mohammed by some persons - a reference to the two former BJP spokespersons. The readout also quoted Doval as saying that the action taken against those responsible would serve as a lesson for others.

When external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi was asked at a weekly media briefing about the readout, including comments attributed to Doval, he said he would not like to comment on the conversation.

He added: “My understanding is what you are referring to in a readout has been pulled down.”

The revised readout posted on the website of Iran’s foreign ministry on Thursday contained only a very brief reference to Doval explaining the Indian side’s position on the issue of the controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammed. In contrast, the original readout had devoted several paragraphs to the issue.

The revised readout quoted Doval as reiterating the respect of the Indian government and officials for the Prophet, and that “it will be treated as a lesson for others”.

Amir-Abdollahian also made it clear in a tweet that he had raised the matter with the Indian leadership. “Pleased to meet PM Modi, FM Jaishankar & other Indian officials to advance our bilateral strategic dialogue. Tehran & New Delhi agree on the need to respect divine religions & Islamic sanctities & to avoid divisive statements,” he tweeted.

However, Bagchi said the controversy over the remarks on Prophet Mohammed had not figured in the talks between Amir-Abdollahian and Jaishankar.

“My understanding is that this issue was not raised during that conversation,” he said.

Iran, Kuwait and Qatar had summoned the Indian ambassadors on Sunday to protest against the remarks by BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, who were subsequently removed by the party.

More than a dozen countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia and Pakistan, have denounced the comments.

Bagchi said: “We have made it pretty clear that the tweets and comments do not reflect the views of the government. This has been conveyed to our interlocutors, as also the fact that action has been taken by the concerned quarters against those who made the comments and tweets.”

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