Situation has turned serious, says Jaishankar on US-Iran standoff

Ladakh, faceoff, India, China, Sino-India border, Galwan Valley, Jaishankar,
The foreign minister is slated to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation foreign ministers’ meeting between September 9 and 11, and meet his Chinese counterpart for the first time since the border skirmish in May this year.

Developments have taken a serious turn, noted External Affairs Minister S Jaishankhar after having a conversation with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif on Sunday (January 5) following rising tensions between the US and Iran after the latter’s top military commander was killed in an US airstrike.

In a tweet on Sunday, Jaishankhar said India remained deeply concerned about the levels of tension in the region. “Just concluded a conversation with FM @JZarif of Iran. Noted that developments have taken a very serious turn. India remains deeply concerned about the levels of tension. We agreed to remain in touch (sic),” the tweet said.

The conversation between the two leaders comes days after Iran’s top military commander Soleimani was killed in a US strike.

US President Donald Trump has warned Iran that the US has identified 52 possible targets in the country and will hit it harder than ever before if Tehran, which has vowed “severe revenge”, carries out any attack against America to avenge the killing of Soleimani.

Maj Gen Soleimani, 62, the head of Iran’s elite al-Quds force and architect of its regional security apparatus, was killed when a US drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the Baghdad International Airport early on Friday.

The strike also killed the deputy chief of Iraq’s powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force. Soleimani’s killing was the most dramatic escalation yet in spiralling tensions between Iran and the US.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also read | Soleimani’s death takes US-Iran relations into uncharted territory

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