Iran Foreign Minister cancels India visit for Raisina Dialogue over video of women's protest


New Delhi: Iran Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian who was scheduled to attend the Raisina dialogue in India next month has cancelled his visit after a promotional video for the event showed women from his country cutting their hair in protest against the hardline Islamist regime.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was due to travel to India for the Raisina dialogue scheduled to take place on 3 and 4 March. The Iranian government has, however, informed the organisers that the country’s foreign minister will not be able to travel to India for the conference.

Why the Iran Foreign Minister cancelled India visit?

Iran appears to be upset with the promotional video of the Raisina Dialogue announcing the 2023 edition of the event. The video, put out nearly a month ago, has a brief shot of Iranian women clipping their hair in protest juxtaposed with footage of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi.

The video, about 110 seconds long, shows women cutting their hair in protest after Iran’s morality police took 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, into custody for wearing “inappropriate” headscarf. She later died, with people alleging custodial violence and taking to street to express their anger.

It has angered the Iranian embassy which was preparing for Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s visit to India. A report by The Indian Express quoted sources saying that the embassy has reached out to Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), and objected to the portrayal of their President alongside the protesters. They also sought for the sequence to be deleted from the promotional video.

Also Read: ‘If not made to wear hijab, women may roam streets naked in summers’: Iran cleric warns

Iran protest

India has not commented on the protests that have rocked Iran since September last year. In November, India was among the 15 other members who abstained on a resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to set up a fact-finding mission into alleged human rights violations in Iran committed on the protesters in the country by state authorities.

Don’t Miss: WATCH: Iranian blogger couple dancing in public sentenced to over 10 years in prison

India-Iran ties

India and Iran ties have witnessed many ups and downs. The bilateral relations between the two countries have been witnessing number of challenges ever since the US imposed sanctions on Iran after pulling out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018. The energy relations have not yet been restored.

The US sanctions on Iran remain the primary impediment to resuming energy cooperation between both countries.

Raisina Dialogue

The Raisina Dialogue is India’s premier conference organised by ORF in partnership with MEA.

The conference focuses on geopolitics and geoeconomics committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.

The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, who are joined by thought leaders from the private sector, media and academia.

Leaders in politics, business, media, and civil society converge in New Delhi for the annual event.

Foreign ministers of more than 20 countries are expected to come for the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting on 1 and 2 March. Raisina Dialogue is scheduled just after the meeting and it is therefore, expected that some ministers might stay back and join the conference.

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Iran Foreign Minister cancels India visit for Raisina Dialogue over video of women's protest
Iran Foreign Minister cancels India visit for Raisina Dialogue over video of women's protest
ASE News
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