02/21/2023, 13.45
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Protests over Mahsa Amini’s death cause diplomatic rift between New Delhi and Tehran

Iranian Foreign Minister pulls out of the Raisina Dialogue in India after organisers post a video showing Iranian women cutting their hair. For the Islamic Republic, this constitutes interference in its internal affairs. The two countries could work together in the region, especially in Afghanistan.

Delhi (AsiaNews) –  Protests caused by the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian-Kurdish woman who died in September in the custody of Iran’s morality police after she was arrested for not wearing her headscarf correctly, has sparked a diplomatic rift between India and Iran.

Iran's Foreign Ministry yesterday released a statement saying that Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian would not attend next month’s Raisina Dialogue in India, an annual geopolitical meeting organised by India’s Foreign Ministry and Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

Iran has accused organisers of “unprofessional” behaviour after ORF posted a video on its website showing Iranian women cutting their hair, a symbol of protest against Iran's strict headscarf rules.

According to Iranian authorities, the video constitutes Indian interference in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic.

Despite a harsh crackdown, protests have been going on for months in Iran following Mahsa’s death. As a result, many Western countries have imposed new sanctions on Iran, a step India has not followed.

As ORF noted, while great powers turned their attention to the war in Ukraine, a diplomatic vacuum has been created across the Middle East, as well as South and Central Asia, especially with regard to Afghanistan, where both India and Iran could carve a space for themselves working together.

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