Iran Criticizes OIC Silence on Muslim World Challenges

Friday, January 22, 2016

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has also dismissed as “unacceptable” the recent statement by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), saying it runs counter to principles of the UN Charter, the OIC Charter and international law.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s success in following up its objectives and priorities depends on solidarity, cooperation and coordination among members and not in their face-off,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said.

He added that the OIC statement was issued with lack of consensus among the organization’s member states.

In a statement issued at the end of an OIC emergency meeting in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, the organization backed Saudi Arabia in its weeks-long diplomatic spat with Iran, accusing Tehran of supporting terrorism and interfering in other countries' affairs.

Jaberi Ansari said the Jeddah meeting was convened with the aim of supporting Saudi Arabia’s state terrorism.

He added that the OIC statement overlooked the existing realities pertaining to Iran’s swift action against the perpetrators of the incidents and focused on pursuing the “objectives of a specific country.”

The Iranian spokesperson noted that the OIC has been founded to strengthen cooperation among Muslim countries to contribute to liberation of the occupied Palestinian territories.

“Given the continuation of Palestine’s occupation, inhuman blockade of the Palestinians and growing threats of Takfiri extremism and terrorism against international peace and security, the hasty and irresponsible measure by the Saudi government to insist on the emergency meeting and issue a statement lacking consensus have intensified divisions among [OIC] members and undermined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” Jaberi Ansari pointed out.

Iran expressed regret that Saudi Arabia overlooked the OIC objectives, principles and priorities as well as rights of the members in the Jeddah statement, he said.

He added that Iran emphasizes that such measures are aimed at supporting sectarianism and warmongering policies as well as backing Saudi state terrorism.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, in line with its fundamental policy, expresses its readiness for interaction to settle mutual issues with Saudi Arabia and stresses the importance of Riyadh’s return from its wrong policies … to the path of moderation, wisdom and dialog along with mutual respect,” he said.

Jaberi Ansari called on all OIC member states to improve their interaction in dealing with issues of Muslim nations and prepare the ground for the liberation of the occupied Palestine.

*Photo Credit: Press TV

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