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Any Divisive Move at OIC Invalid, Unacceptable

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has slammed as unacceptable "any divisive move" at the ongoing Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference. 

“No message which would fuel division in the Islamic Ummah should come out of the conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation," Rouhani said.

He added that “any divisive move at the OIC is invalid,” as it does not enjoy the consensus of the member states and Muslim community and as it is against the goal of the organization.

Iran does not support tension and instability in the region, said Rouhani, adding that the Islamic Republic pursues policies aimed at fostering solidarity and unity in the Muslim world.

He described the promotion of relations with Muslim countries as a top priority for his country, and reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s support for dialog and diplomacy as the best way out of any rifts and misunderstandings.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian president touched on challenges facing Muslims and voiced Tehran’s support for the Muslim countries grappling with terror threats.

Iran “has always backed and will back Muslim countries in the face of aggression, threats, occupation and terrorism,” he said.

The Islamic Republic will not hesitate to help oppressed Muslims if they demand such assistance in the fight against the terrorists and aggressors seeking to pose threats to sacred Muslim sites,  Rouhani noted.

He added that extremist and Takfiri groups are killing people in cold blood, expressing regret that their bestial crimes are perpetrated in the name of Islam, which has been the main victim of such atrocities.

He also warned about threats posed by the Israeli regime, saying Tel Aviv is the “main source of extremism and violence” in the region, criticizing the international community for remaining silent on the regime’s crimes.

“We should always bear in mind the threat of the Zionist regime as the main source of violence and extremism, and accept that continued massacre of defenseless Palestinian people, mainly women and children, in the occupied territories as well as inhumane attacks and the siege on Gaza are indicative of the violent nature of a regime that continues with its bestial acts thanks to the silence of the international community, particularly Western powers,” Rouhani said. 

The Iranian Foreign Minister has also slammed Saudi Arabia’s "destructive" move to include statements against the Islamic Republic and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement in the draft declaration of the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Riyadh’s efforts for the inclusion of four paragraphs in the draft declaration against Iran and one more against Hezbollah were against the “spirit of Islamic solidarity” which can only serve the interests of the Israeli regime.

The draft was prepared during an expert-level OIC meeting in February in the Saudi port city of Jaddah, which the Iranian officials could not attend as they were denied visas by Riyadh.

Zarif warned that attempts by the Saudis to use the OIC mechanism to achieve their political goals resemble efforts by the former regime of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein against Iran during the organization’s meeting at the time of Iraq’s imposed war against Iran in the 1980s.

The Iranian foreign minister stated that members of the OIC should “learn the lesson” from those experiences and refrain from adopting “failed policies.”

Zarif said Saudi Arabia is continuing to “make excuses” out of the incidents that happened at its diplomatic missions in Iran, adding that Iran has openly condemned those events.

The Iranian top diplomat, however, noted that despite “destructive efforts” by some OIC members, Iran has always sought improved relations with the neighboring countries.

Zarif also condemned a paragraph proposed in the OIC draft declaration against Hezbollah, saying the move only pleases Israel.

The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister has also criticized the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for being dominated by certain member states and for its failure to avoid bias in its decision-making processes.

“The general atmosphere governing the OIC under the current circumstances is not really indicative of cooperation among Muslim countries and unity in the Muslim world,” Abbas Araqchi, who is attending the organization’s 13th summit in the Turkish city of Istanbul, said .

“Unfortunately, the organization has invariably suffered from this structural and organizational weakness,” he added.

Araqchi expressed regret that there have only been a few occasions when the body managed to act in a unified manner mainly due to Iran's efforts, and those limited instances of solidarity concerned external threats facing the Muslim world, like the Bosnian War.

“When it comes to the internal issues of the Muslim world, there is no such unity owing to dominance by some countries, which try to advance their own interests in the name and under the guise of the organization using their financial resources, threats, and bribery,” the Iranian official stated.

He cited the cases of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, when the OIC invariably threw unilateral support behind Baghdad, and the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, when it supported Kuwait against Iraq.

Araqchi further warned against the prospect of inclusion of anti-Iran and anti-resistance articles in the summit’s final declaration. The draft declaration was prepared during an expert-level meeting of the organization in the Saudi port city of Jeddah in February. The Iranian officials could not attend that meeting as they were denied visas by Riyadh.

He also cautioned the organization against divisive measures that could deepen the rift among Muslims.

*Photo Credit: Press TVISNA

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