Iranian Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has made strong remarks against the Indian government, saying that the recent violence in Delhi has been isolating India from the world of Islam. The statement came a day after the Indian Foreign Ministry summoned Iran's Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni and lodged a strong protest against the “unwarranted remarks made by the Iranian Foreign Minister” earlier this week.
“The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India. The government of India should confront extremist Hindus and their parties and stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam”, a tweet by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reads.
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
Earlier this week, the Indian Foreign Ministry conveyed that Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s “selective and tendentious characterisation of recent events in Delhi are not acceptable”.
In a statement, the Indian Foreign Ministry said that New Delhi did not expect such comments from a country like Iran.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, while briefing media in New Delhi, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar urged leaders and institutions across the world to refrain from commenting on the issue at this sensitive time. “We would urge people not to make any irresponsible comments and also not to be influenced by selective and unsubstantiated narrative on this matter”, Kumar said.
Last week, Pakistan, Turkey, and Indonesia also issued statements on the Delhi riots.
At least 52 people died, over 400 sustained injuries, while many are still missing 10 days after the communal clashes over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) between pro and anti-citizenship law protesters on 24 and 25 February.
The CAA, which grants citizenship to persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, is seen as discriminatory by Muslims in India, as they fear that the law has been introduced to take away their citizenship. The government has denied that the CAA is meant to affect any Indian national of any religion.