NEW DELHI: Foreign minister S Jaishankar on Sunday engaged with key players in the Gulf region as the situation turned grave in the aftermath of the killing of top Iranian commander Qassim Suleimani in a strike by the US.

Jaishankar held a telephonic conversation with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif on Sunday. "Just concluded a conversation with FM @JZarif of Iran. Noted that developments have taken a very serious turn. India remains deeply concerned about the levels of tension. We agreed to remain in touch," Jaishankar tweeted. This was the first conversation between the two after Soleimani's death. India had issued a cautiously worded statement after the announcement by the US.

Later, he had a conversation with his US counterpart, Mike Pompeo, during which he emphasised India's "stakes and concerns" in the region. "Had a telephonic discussion with secretary of state @SecPompeo on the evolving situation in the Gulf region. Highlighted India's stakes and concerns," he said. Later, Jaishankar spoke to Oman foreign minister Yusuf Alawi on the evolving situation. "Discussed with FM Yusuf Alawi of Oman the tense situation in the region. Reaffirmed our shared interest in the stability and security of the Gulf.

Appreciated his perspectives on the current situation." Jaishankar's observation of the developments taking a "very serious turn" is an indication of the looming threat of conflict in the region. With US President Donald Trump tweeting that the US would target 52 sites in Iran should Tehran retaliate, the prospects of an open conflict in the region have gained ground. Tehran has vowed "severe revenge" for Suleimani's killing.