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India denies claims of visiting Iranian minister bringing up 'Prophet Mohammed' issue

Prophet remarks: Iran foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is on his maiden visit to India, amid a row over remarks made by former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, who were suspended and expelled by the national party.

Sri Lasya Written by: Sri Lasya @laasiyapriya New Delhi Updated on: June 09, 2022 23:48 IST
PM Narendra Modi with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein
Image Source : @NARENDRAMODI

PM Narendra Modi with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Highlights

  • New Delhi denied claims that Iranian FM had brought up controversial remarks made by BJP leaders
  • Iran FM Abdollahian's visit to India came days after Iran, Kuwait, Qatar summoned Indian ambassadors
  • MEA spox Arindam Bagchi dismissed claims: "issue wasn't raised in Iran-India bilateral talks"

Prophet remarks: New Delhi on Thursday denied claims that the Iranian foreign minister, who is currently on a visit to India, had brought up the controversial remarks made by some BJP leaders during the India-Iran bilateral meeting. 

Iran foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian's visit to India came days after Iran joined Kuwait and Qatar in summoning the Indian ambassadors over the remarks against Prophet Mohammed by former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, who were suspended and expelled by the national party.  It is the first visit to India by a senior minister of a member nation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) after the controversial remarks triggered anguish in the Arab world.

The foreign ministers of the two nations had on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks focusing on enhancing trade, connectivity and counter-terror cooperation. The Iranian side had also claimed that Abdollahian raised the issue of the "negative atmosphere" triggered by "disrespectful" comments on the Prophet and that the Indian side reiterated the Indian government's respect for the founder of Islam.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday dismissed the claims and said, "My understanding is that this issue wasn't raised in talks between Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, and his Iranian counterpart. 

The Iranian minister also tweeted regarding the talks and said, "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. determined to bring relations to new heights"

An Iranian readout also said  Abdollahian praised the Indian people and the government for their respect for religions, especially for the Prophet. The readout mentioned that the Indian side in its response said that the defendants will be dealt with appropriately. The readout said the Iranian foreign minister also referred to the coexistence of various religions in India, besides mentioning the historical friendship between the followers of various religions in the country.

Many Arabian nations, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Bahrain, Maldives, Malaysia, Oman, Iraq, and Libya denounced the comments made by the BJP leaders. 

Also Read | Nupur Sharma's remarks on Prophet Mohammad: How Arab media reported the controversy

Also Read | BJP suspended Nupur Sharma 'only when' something happened in Gulf countries, says Owaisi

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