Tehran: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei on Thursday asked the Indian government to confront what he called “extremist Hindus and their parties”, saying the hearts of Muslims all over the world are “grieving” over the recent communal violence in Delhi.
His remarks come two days after India summoned Iran’s Ambassador in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest over the “unwarranted” comments by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif over communal violence in the national capital.
Warning the government of India against “continued massacre of Muslims”, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the “current pogrom going on against Muslim people in the South Asian country will lead to isolation of New Delhi in the Islamic world”.
Iran leader made the remarks in a statement tweeted in Urdu, English and Persian on Thursday.
The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India. The govt of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam.#IndianMuslimslnDanger
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) March 5, 2020
“The govt. of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam,” the tweet went on.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote a tweet, urging “Indian authorities to ensure the well-being of ALL Indians & not let senseless thuggery prevail,” adding that the “path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law.”
India summoned the Iranian ambassador to New Delhi afterwards to protest the comments. The Indian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Raveesh Kumar said a “strong protest was lodged against the unwarranted remarks,” which he called “not acceptable.”
The violence came following protests by India’s Muslim minority against the Indian government’s approval of a controversial law last December.
The law offers a path to Indian citizenship for six religious groups from three neighboring countries, but specifically excludes Muslims. Critics insist the law is discriminatory and comes in the wake of other severe government measures against the country’s Muslim population such as withdrawal of autonomy for Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir that has intensified discord across India about the future of its 200 million Muslims.
Kumar, however, defended the legislation, saying the government was confident in its legality.
On Tuesday a large number of Iranians, mostly students held a protest in front of the Indian Embassy in the capital Tehran to denounce the riots.
The Iranian demonstrators shouted slogans and held up placards bearing statements in support of the Muslims and condemnation of the killings.
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