OIC silence on challenges facing Muslims regrettable: Iran
A senior Iranian official has criticized the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for remaining silent on the main issues facing the Muslim world.
“It is regrettable that this organization [OIC] is silent about the major challenges of the Muslim world, particularly [the issue of] Palestine, but hastily reacts to the attack on Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said in an address to an emergency meeting of the OIC in Jeddah on Thursday.
He added that Iran has condemned the attacks on Saudi missions in Iran and launched a thorough investigation into the incidents to identify and punish the perpetrators.
Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran on January 3 following demonstrations held in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad by angry protesters censuring the Al Saud family for the killing of prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Riyadh on January 2.
Some people mounted the walls of the consulate in Mashhad while incendiary devices were hurled at the embassy in Tehran.
Iranian officials strongly denounced the raids and arrested over 150 people over the incidents.
The Iranian diplomat said the OIC is yet to respond to challenges facing the Muslim world such as the Palestinians’ call for an inquiry into Israelis’ storming of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
“The organization [OIC] is silent about major issues and challenges of the Muslim world … such as fighting terrorism, extremism and sectarianism. This is while all are well aware of reasons behind these issues and the role of certain countries in creating them,” he pointed out.
In a statement on Thursday, the OIC backed Saudi Arabia in its weeks-long diplomatic spat with Iran, accusing Tehran of supporting terrorism and interfering in other countries’ affairs. Tehran has repeatedly denied such allegations.
The senior Iranian diplomat further said the Islamic Republic’s policy is based on strengthening unity and solidarity among Muslim countries and easing tensions in the region.
“Unfortunately, no appropriate response has been given to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s readiness to hold negotiations and interact [with other countries]. Some countries are apparently not interested in reducing tension in the region and have chosen the path of confrontation,” Araqchi added.
Sheikh Nimr’s execution was widely censured by Muslims and human rights activists around the globe as well as different governments.