New Delhi told Iranian Ambassador Ali Chegeni on Tuesday that Zarif’s comments were “totally uncalled for and unacceptable,” according to local media, citing people familiar with the matter. Iran was also reportedly instructed to steer clear of “matters internal to India.”

In a tweet posted on Monday, Zarif expressed concern over “organized violence against Indian Muslims.” He urged the Indian government to take action in order to “not let senseless thuggery prevail.”

Zarif’s comments come as dozens of people in Delhi have been killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of India’s new citizenship law, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The legislation fast-tracks citizenship for six religious minorities from three neighboring Muslim-majority nations.

Adopted in December last year, CAA sparked outrage among India’s Muslims and became a matter for massive protests across the country. Critics deemed the law discriminatory and contrary to India’s secular values.

New Delhi says CAA is humanitarian gesture aimed at aiding persecuted religious minorities. The government also argues the law is not discriminatory for anyone, as Muslims can still apply for Indian citizenship by other means.

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