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Iranian FM Zarif meets NSA Doval, says 430 Indian cities protested killing of Soleimani
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Iranian FM Zarif meets NSA Doval, says 430 Indian cities protested killing of Soleimani

Agency News

New Delhi, Jan 15 : Close on the heels of the killing of Iranian commander Maj Gen Qaseem Soleimani and amid heightened tensions in the Gulf, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval here.

Both sides discussed matters pertaining to current situation prevailing in the region vis- a-vis tensions between Iran and the US. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and gave him a first hand account of the situation prevailing in the Gulf region, sources said.

"India being an important player, can play a key role in de-escalating tensions," Mr Zarif said. New Delhi has been pushing up the cause of 'restraint' and always maintained that it would like the situation to de-escalate. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has been in touch with his counterparts from Iran (Mr Zarif), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other counterparts from United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar underlining the need to de-escalate the situation and defuse the crisis.

The killing of Maj Gen Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite al-Quds force, by US drone attacking Iraq on January 3 had escalated the situation. Iran also launched ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where US military and coalition forces are stationed in Iraq. US President Donald Trump, however, denied that there was any casualty and announced that fresh sanctions will be slapped on Iran.

Mr Zarif told the global leadership conference, Raisina Dialogue, here on Wednesday that the US policy towards Iran was in violation of international norms. He also went onto claim that in as many as 430 Indian cities and towns, there were protests and meetings to condemn killing of Iranian commander Qaseem Soleimani.

"You have seen the reaction (to Soleimani's killing), not just in Iran. I was surprised to hear that in 430 Indian cities, spontaneous demonstrations and meetings were held to commemorate General Soleimani. Now, the US talks about proxies, do we have proxies in India," he said. (UNI)