EAM Jaishankar Expresses Deep Concern To Iranian Counterpart, Agrees To 'remain In Touch'

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in the wake of the killing of Gen. Soleimani and expressed deep concern.

Written By Akhil Oka | Mumbai | Updated On:
Jaishankar

On Sunday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in the wake of the killing of Iran’s top military commander General Qassem Soleimani. Contending that the situation had taken a “serious turn”, Jaishankar conveyed India’s deep concern about the tension in West Asia. He stated that both of them agreed to remain in touch.  

Read: MEA Urges 'restraint & Calm' Over Assassination Of Iran's Top Commander Soleimani By US

MEA issues statement

Immediately after General Soleimani’s killing, the Ministry of External Affairs had issued a statement. It emphasised that peace and stability were of utmost importance for India. Moreover, it reiterated that India advocated restraint. 

The MEA stated, "We have noted that a senior Iranian leader has been killed by the US. The increase in tension has alarmed the world. Peace, stability, and security in this region is of utmost importance to India. It is vital that the situation does not escalate further. India has consistently advocated restraint and continues to do so." 

Read: Iraqis 'dancing In Streets' Over Death Of Iran's Gen Soleimani, Claims US' Mike Pompeo

Iran-US relations nosedive

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. The Pentagon confirmed that the January 3 attack at the Baghdad International Airport was carried out at the direction of President Donald Trump. Along with General Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis- the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an Iran-backed umbrella organization comprising several militias was also killed. 

Read: Trump Orders Killing Of IRGC Chief; Iran Calls Act "foolish" & Threatens Retaliation

Accusations against Soleimani

General Soleimani had acquired a larger than life image due to his role in spreading Iranian influence in West Asia. On the other hand, the US accused the Quds Force of providing funding, training, weapons, and equipment to US-designated terrorist groups in West Asia including Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group in Gaza. It alleged that Soleimani and the Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans. 

Read: Saudi Arabia Asks Pakistan, Iraq To Intervene In Conflict With Iran

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