Monday, 26 June 2017
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today used a Ramazan message to urge Muslims around the world to support Kashmiris against "oppressors and tyrants", reviving a seven-year-old wound and signalling fresh tensions with India.
Khamenei's message, on Twitter, comes amid concerns in Iran that India has slowed down its implementation of the Chabahar port project on the Gulf of Oman following worries that the US under President Donald Trump may withdraw from an agreement between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear programme. That agreement had led to a thaw between the West and Iran, which allowed New Delhi to engage with Tehran without the fear of sanctions.
"Muslim world should openly support people of Bahrain, Kashmir, Yemen etc and repudiate oppressors and tyrants who attacked" people during the Ramazan month-long fast that ended with Id, Khamenei said today.
In 2010, when India was gradually reducing oil imports from Iran under American pressure, Tehran thrice referred to the Kashmir crisis in a period of six months. India had then summoned Iran's top diplomat in New Delhi and registered a formal protest.
Violent protests broke out across Kashmir after Id prayers today, leaving dozens injured, but the authorities were relieved as the trouble was smaller than feared. A cop was lynched outside Srinagar's Jamia mosque last week.