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Prophet Muhammad Row: Iran Deletes Part Of Press Statement Of Foreign Minister's Meeting With NSA Ajit Doval

According to the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, the discussion on Prophet Muhammad remarks never took place during the meeting.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian AP

Amid extreme reactions and backlash from the Islamic nations concerning former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad, Iran appears to have changed the version of its foreign minister's meeting today with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in Delhi as they have pulled down an earlier press statement from the official website. 

According to the earlier Iranian statement, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval told the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian that those who made the controversial remarks against the Prophet "would be taught a lesson". Surprisingly, this particular line disappeared later from the Iranian foreign ministry's website.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson stated that the Prophet remarks was never raised in discussions during the meeting.

"We have made it pretty clear the tweets and comments do not convey the views of the government. This has been conveyed to our interlocutors as also the fact that action has been taken by the concerned quarters against those who made the comments and tweets. I really do not have anything additional to say on this," the official said. 

PTI had quoted the earlier Iranian readout as saying Mr Abdollahian raised the issue of the "negative atmosphere" triggered by "disrespectful" comments on the Prophet and that the Indian side reiterated the Indian government's respect for the founder of Islam. 

The readout, according to PTI, said the Iranian foreign minister also referred to the historical friendship between the followers of various religions in the country.

"Abdollahian hailed the Indian people and government for their respect for the divine faiths, especially the Prophet Mohammad and also for the religious tolerance, historical coexistence and friendship among followers of various religions in the country," the readout said.

After meeting PM Narendra Modi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian tweeted, "Pleased to meet PM Modi, FM Jaishankar and other Indian officials to advance our bilateral strategic dialogue. Tehran & New Delhi agree on the need to respect divine religions & Islamic sanctities & to avoid divisive statements. determined to bring relations to new heights."

The Iranian foreign minister later also stated, "Muslims are satisfied with the stance of Indian officials in dealing with the culprits." 

According to Iran's IRNA news agency, ahead of his India visit, foreign minister Mr Abdollahian was heard saying that his trip to India was taking place in a situation in which a member of a party "insulted" Prophet Muhammad in an arbitrary act.

He also added that India has "constantly followed up peaceful coexistence and tried to live in peace and tranquillity" and noted that "Muslims cannot tolerate the sacrilege of the Prophet of Islam at all," according to IRNA.

What is the controversy all about?

The entire controversy stemmed from the derogatory comments on Prophet Muhammad made by the former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on a TV Channel debate show.  The remarks have ignited a massive row and since then, multiple cases have been registered against her for hurting religious sentiments.

The BJP on Sunday suspended Nupur Sharma, its national spokesperson, and expelled the party's Delhi unit media head Naveen Jindal, over their comments on the Prophet.

Several countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, Jordan, Bahrain, Maldives, Malaysia, Oman, Iraq and Libya, denounced the comments and many summoned Indian envoys to express their condemnation.

(With PTI Inputs)

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