On Wednesday, the Centre reacted to the ongoing Iran-US tensions in West Asia. MoS External Affairs V Muraleedharan stated that the Narendra Modi government was closely monitoring the developments in the Gulf region. He highlighted that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had spoken to his counterparts in Jordan, Oman, Qatar, France, UAE, Iran and the US. On the other hand, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan revealed that India was preparing to deal with any eventuality.
While Iran and the US have been at loggerheads for quite sometime, their relationship took a worse turn after a US air raid killed General Soleimani, considered by many as the second most powerful figure in Iran. General Soleimani had acquired a larger than life image due to his role in spreading Iranian influence in West Asia. The US accused General Soleimani and the Quds Force of killing hundreds of Americans.
Earlier in the day, Iran retaliated by launching more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing thousands of US troops. While the US has not confirmed any casualties, Iranian state television claimed that at least 80 Americans were killed in the airstrike. The Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif defended the missile attack and clarified that his country did not seek war.
Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 8, 2020
We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.
The Ministry of External Affairs has issued an advisory to Indians urging them to avoid travelling to Iraq unless it was absolutely necessary. The Indian nationals currently living in Iran have also been asked to remain alert. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Captain Amarinder Singh called upon the Centre to prepare a safety plan for the millions of Indians living in the Gulf countries.
I will again urge @NarendraModi and @DrSJaishankar to be ready with a plan of safety and security of around 10 million Indians living in Gulf countries. With the latest news of Iran's missiles hitting American base things can easily go south from now on. #IranAttacks— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) January 8, 2020