OIC Credibility Hurt by Anti-Iran Statement

OIC Credibility Hurt by Anti-Iran StatementOIC Credibility Hurt by Anti-Iran Statement

A senior lawmaker denounced a statement issued on Friday by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation accusing Iran of supporting terrorism and interfering in the affairs of regional states, describing it as a blow to the credibility of the Muslim organization.

"Unfortunately, the final communique issued at the 13th OIC summit is a setback to OIC's reputation," the chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said in an interview with ICANA on Saturday.  

"The wording of the statement is illogical, lacks credibility and shows signs of Saudi Arabia's interference in the internal affairs of Muslim countries against international regulations," Alaeddin Boroujerdi added.

President Hassan Rouhani attended the two-day conference in Istanbul, ending on Friday, along with officials from the other 56 member states to discuss wide-ranging issues, including the humanitarian fallout from Syria's civil war.

"The conference deplored Iran's interference in the internal affairs of the states of the region and other member states, including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Somalia, and its continued support for terrorism," the final summit communique said, Reuters reported.

The statement comes as tensions run high between Saudi Arabia and Iran, especially after the Arab kingdom severed bilateral diplomatic ties in early January.  The decision followed the storming of the Saudi missions by Iranian protestors angered over the Saudi execution of leading Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

  Riyadh's Divisive Role  

"Saudi Arabia … has been a cause of division in the Muslim world," Boroujerdi said, adding that the accusations against Iran are aimed at distracting from the Saudis' "aggressions" against regional countries.

"The allegations of Iran meddling in the internal affairs of Muslim countries are intended to divert the world's attention from Saudi Arabia's interference and military aggressions in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria."

Riyadh is part of the ineffectual US-led coalition against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in Syria. It is also an opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a stance that has put it at odds with Tehran, an ally of Assad.

Iran also supports the Houthis in Yemen, who have been battling forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The Saudi-led coalition began a military campaign in Yemen a year ago with the aim of preventing the Houthis and forces loyal to Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh from taking control of the country.

The UN says more than 6,000 people, half of them civilians, have been killed since the start of the Saudi-led indiscriminate military intervention.

"Saudi leaders have killed thousands of Yemeni women and children since about one year ago," the lawmaker said. "They have acted the same way in Bahrain. The Saudi regime's inhuman actions show they share the brutal nature of the Zionist regime, which likewise has been massacring defenseless Palestinians."

Boroujerdi added that the communique has been issued under the influence of lobbying by Saudis who are seeking to prevent Iran from defending oppressed nations. The 2011 popular protests in Bahrain mainly by its Shia population demanding reforms and a bigger share in government were put down violently by Bahrain security units with help from Saudi security forces.

A day before the communique, Rouhani urged summit delegates to avoid sending out divisive messages.

"No message that would fuel division in the Islamic community should come out of the conference," he said.