Iran urges India to mediate and de-escalate tension with US

Foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov are in India amid escalations with the US in the Gulf region

Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif said on Wednesday that India could play a role in reducing tensions in the Gulf as it is an important player in the region. Zarif’s statement about tensions between the US and Iran comes after the assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Maj Gen Qasem Soleimani.

India has been saying that it is in favour of reducing tension in the region at the earliest. India is in touch with key parties including Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar, as it has significant interests in the region.

Iran-US escalation

The military superiority of the United States has not intimidated Iran into submission. In retaliation after the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a US airstrike, Iran had launched a ballistic missile attack targeting two US military bases in Iraq. However, no one was injured in these attacks.

Soleimani was the head of Iran’s al-Quds force, who was killed in a US drone strike on his convoy near Baghdad International Airport on 3 January. Iran fired dozens of missiles in Iraq last week, targeting at least two targets where the US military and coalition forces are based. Major General Soleimani’s death is seen as the biggest tension between the two countries so far.

A Boeing 737 aircraft from Ukraine International Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. The plane crash occurred shortly after the missile attack by Iran targeting US military bases in Iraq. President of Iran Hassan Rouhani called the act of hitting down the plane an “unforgivable mistake”. Zarif echoed his sorry words.

Zarif met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday and the two leaders discussed the situation in the Gulf. Zarif and Sergey have come to India to participate in the “Raisina Dialogue”, India’s global conference on geopolitics.

The conference is taking place at a time when the attention of the entire world is focused on the confrontation between Iran and America after the killing of Maj Gen Soleimani of Iran. India has been saying that it would like the tension to decrease as soon as possible.

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