NEW DELHI :
“India usually plays a very good role in maintaining peace in the world. We welcome all initiatives from all countries, especially India as a good friend for us, to not allow escalation of tensions,” said Iran’s Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni
My country retaliated under its right to defend, says Chegeni on the Iranian attack on US bases in Iraq
IRAN will welcome any peace initiative by India to de-escalate tensions with the US following the killing of Iranian military Commander Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian envoy here said on Wednesday while asserting that his country wants peace not war. Iran’s Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni also expressed the hope that there would be no further escalation in hostilities between his country and the US.
The ambassador’s comments came hours after Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where US military and coalition forces’ are stationed in Iraq. Tehran said that it was a “slap in the face” of America. “India usually plays a very good role in (maintaining) peace in the world. India belongs to this region. We welcome all initiatives from all countries, especially India as a good friend for us, to not allow escalation (of tensions),” Chegeni told reporters after a condolence meeting for Soleimani at the Iranian Embassy here. “We are not for war, we are looking for peace and prosperity for everybody in this region. We welcome any Indian initiative or any project that can help peace and prosperity in this world,” he said. On the Iranian attack on US targets in Iraq, Chegeni said his country retaliated under its right to defend. “This is not revenge, this was the right of our people.
All the Iranian people asked for retaliation, early morning at the same time our national hero was attacked... We attacked the military bases,” he said. Noting that India is a “good friend”, Chegeni said, “My minister (Javad Zarif) talked to Dr Jaishankar, they had a very good discussion. Recently we had the joint economic commission in Tehran...We see a very good future for the relationship. We have no problem with India.”He said Iran and India can jointly work for peace in the world. Asked if Indian officials have reached out to the Embassy with a condolence message, the Iranian envoy said the embassy had opened a condolence book for two days and he expects Indian officials to come but it is “up to the Indian side”. “Usually we have good relations and sympathy between the two countries,” he said.
The Iran Embassy here has been seeing a steady stream of envoys coming and expressing condolences on the death of Soliemani. Concerns have mounted across the globe over fast-deteriorating diplomatic ties between the US and Iran, and the spiralling tensions in the Gulf after Soleimani was killed. Soleimani’s killing was the most dramatic escalation yet in spiralling tensions between Iran and the US. Talking about the US drone strike that killed Soleimani, Chegeni said, “He was in a third country. So this is very important for the world to not allow such an inhuman, illegal act which is against international rights.” “He (Soleimani) was the one who removed the threat of IS from the world.
Why you should kill him. That means you are supporting terrorists. If General Soleimani didn’t act against IS, what would have happened to India, to Europe, and to all of the world because IS was really anti-human,” he said. The world owes a debt to “anti-terrorist hero” Soleimani, he said. “That is why my country today officially retaliated based on the legitimate rights we have....We are not for war. We are not for escalation, but defending is our right,” Chegeni said. “Everyone has the right to defence, even animals and trees...,” he asserted.