Pun­ish Saudi Ara­bian ‘crimes’, Iran pres­i­dent urges Mus­lims

The Myanmar Times - - World -

IRA­NIAN Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani called yes­ter­day on the Mus­lim world to unite and pun­ish the Saudi gov­ern­ment for its han­dling of the haj pil­grim­age and wider ac­tions in the re­gion.

“Re­gional coun­tries and the world of Is­lam should take co­or­di­nated ac­tions to re­solve prob­lems and pun­ish the Saudi gov­ern­ment,” he told a cabi­net meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to the IRNA state news agency.

“If the ex­ist­ing prob­lems with the Saudi gov­ern­ment were merely the is­sue of the haj ... maybe it would have been pos­si­ble to find a way to re­solve it and put it in the right di­rec­tion,” he added.

“Un­for­tu­nately, this gov­ern­ment by com­mit­ting crimes in the re­gion and sup­port­ing ter­ror­ism in fact shed the blood of Mus­lims in Iraq, Syria and Ye­men.”

Re­la­tions between Iran and Saudi Ara­bia were al­ready at rock bot­tom be­fore the re­gional ri­vals started trad­ing barbs this week ahead of the start of the an­nual haj pil­grim­age on Septem­ber 9.

Ira­ni­ans have been blocked from join­ing the haj for the first time in al­most 30 years after talks on se­cu­rity and lo­gis­tics fell apart in May.

Supreme leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei has ac­cused Saudi Ara­bia of “mur­der” over the deaths of nearly 2300 pil­grims, in­clud­ing hun­dreds of Ira­ni­ans, in a stam­pede dur­ing last year’s pil­grim­age.

For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif hit out at the “big­oted ex­trem­ism” of the Saudi au­thor­i­ties, re­spond­ing to claims by Saudi Ara­bia’s most se­nior cleric, Grand Mufti Ab­du­laziz al-Sheikh, that Ira­ni­ans were “not Mus­lims”. –

Photo: AFP

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani (right) greets OPEC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Mo­hammed Barkindo dur­ing a meet­ing in Tehran on Septem­ber 6.

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