Iran is the first country to ‘criticise’ the violence in Delhi. Before this, no country has used the word “criticism” in its statement. Earlier on Friday, Indonesia summoned the Ambassador of India and expressed concern over the Delhi violence.
Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. The Indonesian government had issued a statement saying, “We are very confident that the Indian government will be able to control the situation and maintain peaceful relations between religious communities.” Apart from Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey have also expressed their concern over the situation in Delhi.
On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif put out a tweet criticising the violence in Delhi, in which he called the violence “organised” and also instructed the government not to promote “senseless thuggery“.
Iran condemns the wave of organized violence against Indian Muslims.
For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India. We urge Indian authorities to ensure the wellbeing of ALL Indians & not let senseless thuggery prevail.
Path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) March 2, 2020
In response to this, the Indian government has summoned Iran’s Ambassador to Delhi Ali Chegeni and expressed displeasure in strong words.
India has said that Iran’s foreign minister has commented on a matter that is “completely the internal matter of the country“. Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif tweeted, “Iran condemns the wave of organized violence against Indian Muslims. For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India. We urge Indian authorities to ensure the wellbeing of ALL Indians & not let senseless thuggery prevail. A path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law.”
Apart from this, America has also appealed to India to respect the right to peaceful demonstration and to avoid violence from all sides.
Violence erupted in the northeastern part of the capital Delhi when US President Donald Trump was visiting India and during a press conference in Delhi, he refused to speak on the situation. Later, US diplomat Alice Wells also tweeted for peace.
Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, has often criticized India’s stance on Kashmir, but the Iranian government has always kept a distance from it. However, Iran’s President Hassan Ruhani made a statement on the decision of the Indian government to remove Article 370 from Kashmir last year. He then urged India to “stop the killings of innocent people in Kashmir”.
There are about 4000 Indian nationals living in Iran and there is a two-way trade of US $ 17 billion between the two countries. India and Iran have old cultural and trade relations. By 1947, the borders of the two countries were linked to each other.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries began in 1950. At the same time, Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif came to India to participate in the Raisina Dialogue conference in January and he also offered to help improve relations between India and Pakistan. Apart from the embassy in Tehran, India, there are also consulates in Bandar Abbas and Zahedan. Iran also has consulates generals in Mumbai and Hyderabad in addition to the embassy in New Delhi.
There are close trade relations between the two countries. Bilateral trade stood at the US $17 billion in the financial year 2018-19, which was almost 24% higher than a year earlier. India exported three and a half billion dollars to Iran, while imported goods worth 13.5 million dollars from there.
India exports many things including rice, tea, iron and steel, organic chemical, metals, electrical equipment and medicines to Iran. Iran is the largest importer of Indian tea in the world. India imports many items from Iran, including petroleum and its products, organic chemicals, fertilizers, plastics, fruits, glass and glass items, pearls, precious stones etc.
India has stopped taking oil from Iran due to US sanctions. The violence that unfolded at the end of February is being described as the worst violence in the capital of Delhi since 1984. So far, 47 people have been confirmed dead and more than 200 people have been injured. People of both Hindu and Muslim religions are among those killed.