Iran removes statement that read its foreign minister discussed Prophet row with India

The earlier press release claimed that NSA Ajit Doval told minister Amir-Abdollahian that those who made the controversial remarks "would be taught a lesson"

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday (June 9). Pic: Twitter

Iran has pulled out a press statement that said its officials discussed the Prophet Muhammed comment issue with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s visit to Delhi on Thursday (June 9).

Minister Abdollahian tweeted after the meeting on Thursday night: “Pleased to meet PM Modi, FM Jaishankar and 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.”

The statement was later removed from Twitter and the Iranian government website.

The earlier statement claimed that NSA Doval told the Iranian foreign minister that those who made the controversial remarks against Prophet Muhammed “would be taught a lesson”. This statement too has been removed.

The External Affairs Ministry also said that the Prophet issue was not discussed during Amir-Abdollahian’s meeting with Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar. An External Affairs Ministry official reiterated its earlier stand that the comments (on the Prophet) do not convey the views of the Indian government.

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A report published by news agency PTI quoted the earlier Iranian statement as saying 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.

The Iranian statement also referred to the historical friendship between the followers of various religions in India. “Abdollahian hailed the Indian people and government for their respect for the divine faiths, especially the Prophet Mohammad and also for the religious tolerance, historical coexistence and friendship among followers of various religions in the country,” the Iranian statement read.

The Iranian statement further said that “muslims are satisfied with the stance of Indian officials in dealing with the culprits.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Abdollahian is the first top-level diplomat from an Islamic nation to visit India after several countries including Kuwait, Qatar and other Gulf nations condemned suspended BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma’s comments on the Prophet.

The BJP has suspended Nupur Sharma and expelled the party’s Delhi unit media head Naveen Jindal, who had posted Sharma’s comments on Twitter.