Iran rejects OIC accusations, denounces ‘Saudi-Emirati war crime’ in Yemen

August 10, 2018

TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday rejected accusations by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as “worthless”; it also said airstrike on a school bus in Yemen on Thursday constituted an example of the Saudi-UEA “war crime”.

Iran’s response to the OIC statement came after the body in a meeting on Wednesday claimed that Tehran was behind the Yemeni attack on Saudi oil tankers in Bab al-Mandab strait. 

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed the statement in its entirety, saying such moves are aimed at deflecting public attention from the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen.

The statement said the OIC condemns “in the strongest terms the aggression by the Iran-backed Houthi militias on two Saudi oil tankers in the Red Sea after crossing Bab al-Mandab strait.”

Qassemi said, “Due to Saudi Arabia’s refusal to issue visas, the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not able to attend OIC meetings in Jeddah; so, such statements are unfairly and unilaterally drawn up and issued under pressure by Saudi Arabia.”

“The countries which launched aggression on Yemen and are responsible for the years-long human crisis and the killing, on a daily basis, of defenseless Yemeni people with the most modern weaponry, and [are responsible for] the destruction of the country’s infrastructure, issue such worthless statements and cash in on regional and international institutions and mechanisms to cover up their crimes and divert the attention of the people both in the region and across the world,” he stated.

“We believe the issuance of such statements in the name of, and by taking advantage of the reputation of the OIC, will not only result in mistrust among its member states, but waste the member states’ assets and potentialities, make the OIC inefficient when it comes to key topics and issues related to the Muslim world, and undermine the status of the organization at the international level,” the spokesman added.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Qassemi strongly condemned the “Saudi-Emirati coalition” for attacking a bus carrying Yemeni school students in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada, killing and wounding tens of innocent children.

Yemen’s al-Masirah television network said those on the bus were a group of young students attending summer classes of the Holy Quran.

The Yemeni Health Ministry said at least 50 civilians, mostly children, lost their lives and around 77 others were wounded in the attack.

Qassemi expressed sympathy with the families of the victims of the “war crime” and called on the international community and human rights bodies to put an end to the crimes committed by aggressive countries in Yemen through all possible means.

“The intensified bombardment of residential areas and civilian targets in Yemen reveals the back-to-back defeats of the Saudi-Emirati coalition in the battlefields,” he said.

The spokesman also expressed regret over the continued supply of arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE by some “self-proclaimed defenders of human rights”, saying those states are complicit in the war crimes committed in Yemen and should be held accountable. 

He urged the United Nations and other major players in the world to step up their efforts to put an immediate end to the aggressors’ attacks on Yemen and adopt necessary measures to protect the health and security of the civilians particularly women and children of the war-torn country.

MH/PA

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