Prophet row: Iran deletes its version of meeting with Doval
Iran seems to have softened its stance on the matter of the ruling BJP members' alleged provocative statements about the Prophet Muhammad. A previous statement by Iran claimed National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval told the visiting Iranian foreign minister that anyone who made anti-Muslim statements "would be taught a lesson." This statement, however, is no longer available on the Iranian Foreign Ministry's website.
Why does this story matter?
India is facing outrage from West Asian countries after Nupur Sharma, former national spokesperson of the BJP, made controversial remarks against the Prophet Muhammad in a television debate. Many West Asian countries, including Iran, issued statements condemning the remarks by Sharma. Sharma was suspended from her position, while her colleague Naveen Jindal was also expelled from the party amid mounting anger in these countries.
What did Iran's Foreign Minister say on Twitter?
"Tehran & New Delhi agree on the need to respect divine religions & Islamic sanctities & to avoid divisive statements. determined to bring relations to new heights (sic)," tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. He also expressed happiness after meeting PM Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar. His remarks came days after Iran joined other Gulf nations to condemn remarks against the Prophet.
Here's the tweet by Iranian foreign minister
How did India's foreign ministry respond?
However, the External Affairs Ministry's spokesperson claimed that the Iranian foreign minister didn't raise the Prophet row in discussions with his Indian counterpart. "We have made it pretty clear the tweets and comments do not convey the views of the government. This has been conveyed to our interlocutors as also the fact that action has been taken by the concerned quarters," the spokesperson said.
What did Amir-Abdollahian say in earlier statement?
According to an earlier Iranian readout, Amir-Abdollahian raised the issue of the "negative atmosphere" created by "disrespectful" comments on the Prophet by members of a political party and the Indian side repeated the government's respect for the Prophet. The Iranian foreign minister also mentioned the country's historical goodwill between adherents of many religions, according to PTI.
Amir-Abdollahian also hailed India's response
"[Amir-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 previous readout said. The Iranian foreign minister said, "Muslims are satisfied with the stance of Indian officials in dealing with the culprits."
How did Iranian media report the tour?
Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Amir-Abdollahian as saying that his trip to India is taking place in a situation in which a member of a party "insulted" Prophet Muhammad in an arbitrary act. However, the news agency reported that India has "constantly followed up peaceful coexistence" and noted that "Muslims cannot tolerate the sacrilege of the Prophet of Islam at all."
How did the diplomatic war deepen?
Facing criticism from various quarters, especially Arab countries, the BJP suspended its spokesperson Sharma on Sunday for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad. It had also suspended its Delhi unit's media in-charge Jindal. Earlier, the BJP also issued a statement clarifying its stand on the issue. "The BJP is strictly against any ideology that insults any sect or religion," the party had said.Share this timeline