Iran Condemned at Meeting in Istanbul of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Summit
A major summit aimed at overcoming differences in the Muslim world has condemned Iran for supporting terrorism and meddling in the affairs of other countries.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who had been at the two-day Istanbul conference along with more than 30 other heads of state and government from Islamic-majority countries, did not attend the closing meeting in protest at the criticisms.
“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,” said the summit’s final statement.
It also “condemned Hezbollah for conducting terrorist activities in Syria, Bahrain, Kuwait and Yemen and for supporting terrorist movements and groups undermining the security and stability of OIC member states”.
The Arab League declared Iran’s ally Hezbollah a “terrorist” group in March after Gulf kingdoms did the same earlier in the month over the movement’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Salman Dosri, an analyst, told Al Arabiya News Channel that it is the “first time” that the has summit denounced a group linked to Iran in this manner.
The announcement came a day after Rouhani called on delegates to promote unity.
“No message which would fuel division in the Islamic community should come out of the conference,” said Rouhani, according to Iranian media.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had also implored leaders to work to end sectarian tensions.
“I believe the greatest challenge we need to surmount is sectarianism,” Erdoğan said on Thursday. “My religion is not that of Sunnis, of Shia. My religion is Islam.
“We should be uniting. Out of the conflicts, the tyranny, only the Muslims suffer,” he said, while stressing he wanted the summit to be a “turning point” for the Islamic world.