India calls for restraint after US kills Iran general

General Qasem Soleimani, the powerful commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq on Friday

India on Friday voiced concern over the killing of top Iran general Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike saying the increase in tension has alarmed the world.

Rise of tension in the Persian Gulf region, home to millions of expatriate Indians who send billions of dollars in remittances back home and also a key source for import of crude, has alarmed the world, said MEA.

“We have noted that a senior Iranian leader has been killed by the US. The increase in tension has alarmed the world,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a statement here.

“Peace, stability and security in this region are of utmost importance to India. It is vital that the situation does not escalate further,” he said.

“India has consistently advocated restraint and continues to do so,” Kumar added.

Soleimani was the head of Iran's elite al-Quds force and architect of its regional security apparatus.

Oil prices spiked by three dollars to 69.20 dollars to a barrel, the highest since September last year, amid fears of retaliation by Iran which could escalate tensions in the region.

In December 2018, India had inaugurated the Chabahar port in south-eastern Iran to expand its trade links with Central Asian countries. Any escalation in tensions could also impact India's plan to further develop the port into a transit hub for trade with Afghanistan and beyond.

Since its inauguration, as many as 4,500 containers of goods have moved from India through the Chabahar port, ferrying nearly half-a-million tonnes of cargo.

During his recent visit to Iran, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had discussed with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif ways to improve connectivity to Chabahar.

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