India important player, can help de-escalate Gulf tensions: Iranian Foreign Minister
Zarif’s remarks come amid tensions between the US and Iran over the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.
Calling India an important player, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday said that it can play an important role in de-escalating tensions in the Gulf region.
The remarks by Zarif, who is currently in India, come amid tensions between the US and Iran over the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.
"India can play a role in de-escalating tensions in the Gulf region as New Delhi is an important player," Zarif said as he met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi.
Soleimani, 62, the head of Iran's elite al-Quds force and architect of its regional security apparatus, was killed when a US military drone fired missiles at his convoy while it was leaving the Baghdad International Airport on January 3.
The Iranian minister gave Doval a firsthand account of the situation prevailing in the Gulf region post the Iranian general’s killing, PTI reported citing sources.
The overall security scenario figured prominently in the talks.
Soleimani's killing has been the most dramatic escalation yet in spiraling tensions between Iran and the US.
India has been maintaining that it would like the situation to de-escalate as soon as possible and the country has been in touch with key players, including Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar, as it has important interests in the region.
Following Soleimani's killing, Iran promised retaliation and launched over a dozen ballistic missiles last week, targeting at least two bases where US military and coalition forces' are stationed in Iraq.
US President Donald Trump had earlier claimed that the Iranian general had contributed to terror plots “as far away as New Delhi and London”.
"Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terror plots as far away as New Delhi and London.
“His reign of terror is over. He was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and personnel but we caught him in the act and terminated him."
The US leader called Soleimani “a sick monster” and “the number one terrorist anywhere in the world”.
Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien had said that the President’s decision to take down Soleimani was designed to prevent further bloodshed and was defensive in nature.