Iran’s foreign ministry on Thursday removed a reference to derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad made by two Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons from an official press release, PTI reported.
The statement initially referred to a conversation between Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. It said that Doval had reiterated that Indian government respected Prophet Muhammad that the derogatory remarks about him made by BJP spokespersons would be “treated as a lesson for others”.
Earlier this week, Iran and 19 other Muslim-dominated nations and organisations of such countries had condemned the comments made by the BJP spokespersons.
The official website of the Iranian foreign ministry no longer has any reference to the conversation between Amirabdollahian and Doval. The website, however, refers to the derogatory remarks in a statement about a meeting that the Iranian foreign minister held with Muslim clerics and scholars in Delhi.
Amirabdollahian “expressed deep regret about the upsetting incident”, according to the statement.
“He said [that] such raucous clamour neither suits India nor is rooted in India, and surely followers of all religions in the Indian territory oppose such comments,” the statement read. “This, he said, was a point conversed about clearly, and in different manners, by Indian officials during this visit.”
On Thursday evening, a journalist asked the spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi for his comments on the statements attributed to Doval. The spokesperson said that he would not like to comment on the conversation between the Indian national security advisor and the Iranian foreign minister.
“My understanding is that what you are referring to in a readout has been pulled down,” Bagchi said. “Even if it is, I do not want to get into what was said or not.”
The spokesperson reiterated that the tweets and comments of that were at the centre of the diplomatic crisis did not reflect the views of the Indian government, The Times of India reported.
“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,” Bagchi said. “I really do not have anything additional to say on this.”
On May 26, now-suspended Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma made derogatory comments about Prophet Muhammad during a debate on Times Now television channel.