16 Jan 2024

What did S Jaishankar say in Iran on attacks by Houthi rebels in Red Sea?

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on Monday, said attacks on ships in the vicinity of India are a matter of "grave concern" to the international community and thus The threats have a direct impact on India's economic interests.

He also said that this is a “terrible situation” that will not benefit either side. Iranian-backed Houthis have been attacking ships since November, in protest against Israel's war against Hamas.

Foreign Minister Jaishankar is on Iran tour. On Monday, Jaishankar also met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

He also talked with the Iranian Foreign Minister about India's participation in the strategically important Chabahar Port.

In a joint press conference, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said, “Recently, threats to the security of maritime commercial traffic in the Indian Ocean have increased rapidly.”

“We have also seen some attacks in the region around India. This is a matter of great concern for the international community. Obviously, India's interests are also being threatened by this. No one will benefit from this kind of situation," Jaishankar said.

These comments of the Foreign Minister came at a time when Houthi fired a missile at an American ship near the coast of Yemen in the Gulf of Aden. A day before this, America had claimed that Houthi had fired an anti-cruise missile at an American destroyer in the Red Sea.

A Houthi official said on Monday that American vessels were also considered targets. "It is enough for ships to be American for us to target them", he said.

The Houthi attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea have led many of the world's biggest shipping companies to change course, thus causing major disruption to global commerce.

In reaction to Monday's strike, the US Department of Transportation issued a maritime alert, recommending "that US flag and US-owned commercial vessels" remain clear of specified areas in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Last week, America and Britain launched air strikes on Houthi-occupied areas of Yemen.

India is keeping an eye on whatever is happening in the Red Sea. The Indian Navy has increased the deployment of frontline ships in view of the situation in important sea routes including the North and Central Arabian Sea.

In the press conference, Jaishankar also said that India and Iran are concerned about what is happening in West Asia. He stressed the need to prevent the situation in the region from worsening.

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