Iran became the fourth Muslim-majority country to officially react to the riots in Delhi, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif condemning the “wave of organised violence against Indian Muslims” and urging authorities to not let “senseless thuggery” prevail.
Zarif, a diplomat-minister known for his careful choice of words, tweeted on Monday night: “Iran condemns the wave of organised 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.”
Zarif’s tweet came after Indonesia, Turkey and Pakistan had spoken out against the riots over the last week. Malaysia and Bangladesh had earlier criticised the CAA and the proposed NRC.
There was no official response from the Indian side but the Ministry of External Affairs has, in the past, rejected statements by Turkey and Pakistan. In the case of Iran, India has stopped buying oil from the country under threat of sanctions from the US, but continues to work on the Chabahar port.
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
On Friday, Indonesia had conveyed its concerns over the riots to the Indian envoy in Jakarta. This was after the Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry issued a statement condemning the “violence against Muslims”.
Earlier last week, referring to the Delhi riots, Turkey’s President Erdogan had claimed that “massacres” of Muslims were widespread in India. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned against “radicalication…of Indian Muslims”, which he claimed, “will have disastrous consequences not only for the region but eventually for the world also”.
Speaking out against the CAA in December, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was ousted from the post over the weekend, had spoken out against the amended citizenship law due to which, he said, “people are dying”. India was quick to reject the comments as “factually inaccurate”.
In January, more than a month after the CAA was passed, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had said that while the CAA and NRC were “internal matters” of India, the citizenship law was “not necessary”.
On Monday, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla met Hasina and her government’s Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen in Dhaka and said that the unrest over the law was “temporary” and the CAA will have no impact on Bangladesh.
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