New Delhi: Western countries have built up a "baseless and fallacious" atmosphere with regard to the protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa (Jina) Amini in Iran, the country's deputy foreign minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri who is visiting India said.
The Islamic Republic is facing one of the biggest shows of dissent in recent history following the death in September of the Kurdish-Iranian woman detained by the morality police allegedly for not wearing her hijab properly, according to media reports. In an exclusive interview with ANI, Ali Bagheri said on Thursday, "Mahsa Amini was not killed, she passed away. We have seen the atmosphere created by some western media with regard to the development in Iran. This atmosphere is baseless and fallacious. We are seeing the rights of the Iranian nation are violated by these western powers."
"The western powers don't talk about the people of Afghanistan, Palestine or Yemen. They don't denounce or condemn these actions. Who are the real killers of these people?" the minister who is visiting India as part of political consultations between the two countries.
Bagheri met with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday and discussed bilateral cooperation and regional issues.
On the meeting with Jaishankar, he said, "Yesterday I held a very constructive meeting with minister Jaishankar. In that meeting, we discussed the most important bilateral relations issues. Both sides stressed that in the era ahead, we need to strengthen our cooperation and consultations in order to promote our bilateral relations and continue our engagement with each other."
Responding to a question on economic and trade cooperation, the Iranian minister noted that both countries enjoy different types of cooperation in the economic sphere.
"Both partners and complete each other --- their economies are complementary. Iran enjoys huge energy resources and thus it can provide energy supplies to India and help contribute to its energy security. India, on the other hand, is a major provider of food staples. It can contribute to the food security of Iran," he said.
Underscoring the importance of the Tehran-Delhi cooperation, he said apart from the bilateral economic cooperation, we can hold extensive cooperation in terms of helping the other countries, especially in our region."
Using the economic and technological capacities of both countries, he said India and Iran can help countries in the region. In particular, Afghanistan after the pull of US and NATO forces from the country."
On the question of Iran's past role as the oil supplier to India, the minister said Iran has been always been prepared to supply energy to other countries, particularly India.
"This is in line with our policy to create stability in other countries. Western countries are imposing policies in the world that are in line with the insurance of their interests. These policies have created disruptions in the economic and energy market," he said.
He also berated the US and other Western powers for imposing sanctions on three major oil suppliers- Iran, Russia, and Venezuela."By these actions, they have played a key role in destabilizing the energy security of the world."
On the issue of Chabahar Port, the visiting Iranian minister said, "one of the main areas of my talks with the Indian side was to promote our cooperation with India on Chabahar and accelerate the completion of the project Chabahar. We have so far reached good progress. But it still requires the intensification of our efforts and cooperation to finalize this project."
He said this project is not only important for Iran and India but important for other countries in the region and it has a very important role in the completion of the International North-South Transit Corridor and connectivity in our region.