New Delhi: At a time when there is an ongoing tension between Tehran and US over the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni on Wednesday said that Tehran is actually not looking for war with the US at this time. Also Read - Air India Reroutes Flights Using Iranian Airspace, Says 'Safety of Our Passengers, Crew Comes First'
“We are not looking for war. We are living in this region peacefully with our brothers and sisters including India. We don’t want any tension or escalation in this region,” Chegeni was quoted as saying by ANI. Also Read - Military Action Not Enough: Watch Iran Supreme Leader's Address After Iran Fired Missiles on US Military Base
The statement from the Iranian Ambassador comes after Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, was killed in a US drone strike on Friday last week near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. The airstrike was ordered by President Donald Trump. Also Read - Iran Versus USA: Claims, Counter-Claims, Airspace Mayhem | All we Know so Far
The killing of the top commander marked a dramatic escalation in tension between the US and Iran, that has often been at a fever pitch since Trump, in 2018, chose to unilaterally withdraw Washington from the 2015 nuclear pact the world powers had struck with Tehran.
The tension further escalated when Iran earlier in the day fired a number of missiles at two Iraqi bases that house US troops in retaliation for the American strike.
Replying to the action taken by Iran, the ambassador said that it was part of the country’s response. “Whatever we have done is a part of our response,” he said, adding, “Millions of people who participated in the funeral of General Qasem Soleimani had demanded the government for it. We have done it. We are not looking for war.”
India being a friend to Iran, the Ambassador said Tehran will welcome any initiative from India to curb the escalation of tension between Iran and US.
“India is a part of the region. It should be a part of de-escalation. We are welcoming any initiative from our good friends from India,” Chegeni stated.
In another development, India will next week be hosting Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to explore options to safeguard Chabahar port as well as its energy and financial interests amid the escalating tensions.