NSA Ajit Doval with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian meeting, in New Delhi

Iran on Thursday took down some of the comments it had attributed to NSA Ajit Doval during his meeting with the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian a day earlier. But Iran stood by the Iranian minister’s tweet which said Tehran and New Delhi agreed on the need to respect religions and Islamic sanctities and to avoid divisive statements.

The Iranian media said the minister praised the Indian people and the government for their respect for Prophet Muhammad as well as for their religious tolerance.

However, Iran took down its Foreign Ministry readout which said Abdollahian raised the issue of the “negative atmosphere” triggered by “disrespectful” comments on the Prophet and that Doval reaffirmed the Indian Government’s respect for the founder of Islam, saying offenders would be “dealt with in such a way that others will learn a lesson”.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi confirmed the readout had been pulled down. Asked if the Iranian minister raised the matter, he said, “My understanding is that this issue wasn’t raised in talks with S Jaishankar.”