India reaches out to countries in West Asia amid US-Iran tensions

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jan 06, 2020, 07.08 AM(IST)

File photo: Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

S Jaishankar spoke to Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, United States secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Oman's FM Yusuf Alawi and UAE's FM Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

India reached out to global capital on Sunday evening in the backdrop of growing tensions in West Asia after the US killed top Iranian general - Qasem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) last week. This even as Washington told New Delhi about Iranian "threats" to which US won't "hesitate" to act.

India's external affairs minister S Jaishankar spoke to Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Oman's FM Yusuf Alawi and UAE's FM Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Top Indian government sources said, "We are closely following the developments in the West Asia region. We are engaged with all important stakeholders on the prevailing situation given our deep interest in the stability and security of the region." 

"In this context, today EAM had a telephonic conversation with his counterparts from Iran, UAE, Oman and the United States to discuss ways to reduce the rising level of tension in the region," sources added.

The external affairs ministry highlighted "India's stakes and concern" with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking about "Iran’s continued threats and provocations", explained that "Trump administration won’t hesitate to act to keep American lives, and those of our friends and allies, safe." 

With three West Asian countries, Iran, Oman and UAE, the focus was on how the developing situation can impact the region. EAM during his talks with Iranian counterpart noted that developments "have taken a very serious turn" and New Delhi remains "deeply concerned" about the levels of tension. With Oman, both sides, "reaffirmed" the "shared interest in the stability and security of the Gulf."

Jaishankar's last visit in 2019 was to Iran and Oman and foreign ministers of three countries had met in the Omani capital Muscat on December 24 with focus on increasing connectivity in the region.

Meanwhile, the Iranian mission in a statement expressed its "gratitude" to all "individuals, groups, elites,  media outlets, organizations and foreign missions" in India who have expressed their "sympathy and solidarity" with Tehran.

India has huge stakes in the stability of the region with the presence of large diaspora and energy security and connectivity linkages. India's key connectivity programme - the Chabahar project and North-South Transport corridor that will help it connect with Afghanistan and Central Asia and Moscow could get impacted with instability in the region. 

New Delhi's oil imports come from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran and tensions in the region will impact consumers in the country, already reeling under high onion prices. 

Read in App