PM Modi to Iran: India has strong interest in peace in Gulf region

india iran relations, modi meets iran foreign minister, iran us tensions, Qassem Soleimani killing, modi meets Javed Zarif, raisina dialogue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javed Zarif in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Twitter/PMO)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told visiting Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif that India has “strong interest” in the “peace, security and stability” in the Gulf region.

The Prime Minister also thanked the Iranian leadership for the progress in Chabahar project, including designating it as a Special Economic Zone.

Welcoming Zarif to India, Modi recalled his warm and cordial discussions with President Hassan Rouhani in September 2019 on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Prime Minister reiterated India’s continued commitment to developing strong and friendly relations with Iran.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, Zarif said his country was interested in diplomacy but not in negotiating with the US — the remarks come amid spiralling tension between the two countries over the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. Zarif said Soleimani’s killing showed ignorance and arrogance.

He also said 430 Indian cities saw protests against Soleimani’s killing. “Iran is interested in diplomacy. We are not interested in negotiating with the US. US did not keep its commitments under the nuclear deal. We had a US deal and US broke it. If we have a Trump deal, how long will it last?,” Zarif said.

“The (Iranian) Foreign Minister shared his perspectives on the recent developments in the region. The Prime Minister mentioned India’s strong interest in peace, security and stability in the region,” the Ministry of External Affairs said about the meeting.