Iranian plot to sabotage Saudi-India ties foiled

Bid to sow dissension doomed to failure because bilateral relations strong and built on solid bases, says Saudi envoy

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A swift and tactical move by India has put paid to the Iranian trickery of sowing distrust in the strong and time-tested relations between Riyadh and New Delhi.

A recent Iranian and Hezbollah-backed Lebanese Al-Alam news channel report claimed that Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has allegedly played down the current visit of Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, to Japan and China as insignificant and meaningless.

The report on the channel’s English website also claimed that the Indian foreign minister had said that India was not concerned with the visit and did not expect that it would achieve any strategic results.

Vikas Swarup, spokesman of the Indian foreign ministry, was quick to rebut the report.

The news channel cited a Swaraj interview with the mass-circulation Hindustan Times newspaper.

“I wish to warn China against the dubious movements of Prince Muhammad which are backed by the United States,” Swaraj allegedly said according to the channel.

According to the report channel, Swaraj said the Indian diplomacy was aware of the prince’s movements and had informed the Saudi embassy in New Delhi of this.

Quick rebuttal

The Indian Foreign Ministry was quick to foil the machinations of Hezbollah and the Iranian regime to fail the Saudi efforts, damage relations between India and the Kingdom and involve Pakistan, China and Japan in the ferocious media game Iran was trying to play.

In a tweet on Thursday, the Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman categorically denied the report. “The statements attributed to the foreign minister are based on lies. They are totally incorrect and fabricated,” he wrote.

He said the foreign minister did not give any interview to the Hindustan Times.

On its part, the newspaper denied publishing any interview with the foreign minister.

Saudi Ambassador to New Delhi, Saud Al-Satti told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and India are strategic and ever-progressing and that the two sides are determined to develop them further in all aspects.

“The attempts of the enemies to seed dissension between India and Saudi Arabia are doomed to failure because their bilateral relations are strong and built on solid bases,” he said.

“The Saudi-India ties are not an easy nut to crack,” the ambassador said.

Meanwhile reliable sources said the Iranian lobby in South Asia was trying to fail the Saudi efforts to bring peace to the region. They said the lobby’s fabricated allegations against Prince Muhammad’s drive toward the east would never succeed.

The article forst appeared in Okaz/Saudi Gazette on September 3, 2016.