The Nupur Sharma
row over controversial comments on Prophet Mohammed has put a strain on ties
between India and several other Islamic nations. In the midst of this all,
India and Iran held wide-ranging conversations on trade and connectivity. The
row over comments on Prophet Mohammed, however, did leave a mark.
In a meeting with
India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, the point about the
controversial statement was raised. According to the readout by Iran, Doval reaffirmed
India’s respect for Prophet Mohammed and said offenders will be dealt with in a
manner that others learn a lesson. The Indian government hasn’t made a formal
response to the readout yet.
Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahain tweeted Wednesday night: “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.”
In course of the
meeting, the Iranian foreign minister raised the issue over comments made on
the Prophet, news agency PTI reported. Iran is among several Islamic nations
who condemned the remarks made by Nupur Sharma, former BJP spokesperson, in
course of a television debate. Other nations to have condemned the remarks
include Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The readout said
that Iran’s foreign minister “hailed the Indian people and the government for
their respect of divine faiths, especially the Prophet Mohammed and also for religious
tolerance, historical coexistence and friendship among followers of various
religions in the country.”
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP), India’s ruling party has suspended Nupur Sharma for her
remarks. The Indian government has said that Sharma’s remarks don’t reflect the
opinion of the government and has called her comments “fringe”.
The row erupted
after Nupur Sharma made certain controversial statements about the Prophet
during a tense TV debate and Gulf nations took offense. Some Gulf countries
even threatened to remove Indian products from supermarket shelves.