Prophet remarks issue not raised in meeting with Iran foreign minister: India

India has denied that the issue of controversial remarks made by some BJP leaders on Prophet Muhammad was raised during the meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Iranian counterpart.

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S Jaishankar with Iran FM H.Amirabdollahian. (Image: Twitter/ @DrSJaishankar)
S Jaishankar (R) with Iran FM H.Amirabdollahian. (Image: Twitter/ @DrSJaishankar)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • India denies that Prophet remarks row was discussed with Iran
  • EAM Jaishankar met his Iranian counterpart on Wednesday
  • Iran's FM Hossein Amir Abdollahian also met NSA Ajit Doval

The Centre has said that the issue of controversial remarks made by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Muhammad was not raised during the meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

"My understanding is that this issue was not raised during that conversation," said Arindam Bagchi, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson on whether the issue of controversial remarks came up during the foreign ministers' meeting.

He also reiterated that the tweets and comments don't reflect the views of the Indian government. "We've made it pretty clear that the tweets & comments don't reflect views of the government. This has been conveyed to our interlocutors as also the fact that action has been taken by concerned quarters against those who made the comments and tweets," Bagchi said.

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Earlier, an Iranian handout stated that Abdollahian raised the issue of controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval during their meeting on Wednesday.

According to the readout, Abdollahian raised the issue of the "negative atmosphere" triggered by "disrespectful" comments on the Prophet and that the Indian side reiterated their respect for the founder of Islam. The readout also claimed that NSA Doval said "offenders will be dealt with, at the government and related bodies levels, in such a way that others will learn a lesson".

When asked about the Iranian readout quoting NSA Doval, the MEA spokesperson said, "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)."

PROPHET REMARKS ROW

Earlier, BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma had made controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad during a TV show. The BJP later suspended Nupur Sharma while issuing a statement asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces insult of any religious personality. The party had also expelled its Delhi unit media head Naveen Kumar Jindal for his tweets supporting her.

IRAN FOREIGN MINISTER'S INDIA VISIT

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian is on an official visit to India from June 08 to June 10. According to MEA's official statement, Jaishankar and Amir Abdollahian discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including political, cultural and people to people ties.

They reaffirmed their commitment to continue to cooperate on the development of Chabahar Port.

The Ministers also discussed international and regional issues, including Afghanistan and both sides reaffirmed the importance of providing immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and reiterated the need for a representative and inclusive political system in support of a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, the MEA said.

During the visit, Iranian Foreign Minister called-on PM Modi and also held a meeting with the National Security Advisor, Ajit Kumar Doval.