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Iran urges action on Rohingya genocide before 'it's too late'

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s foreign minister has chided the international community for remaining silent on the violence directed toward Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, calling for swift action to end the genocide.

“The international community has no excuse to allow the genocide of Rohingya Muslims to continue in front of our eyes,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Thursday.

He further demanded urgent action to address the plight of Rohingya Muslims, saying, “We must act now before it's too late.”

Myanmar's security forces have been attacking the Rohingya Muslims and torching their villages since October 2016 in a bid to push them out of the western state of Rakhine.

The attacks have intensified since August 25, following alleged armed attacks on police and military posts in Rakhine.

Rohingya refugees walk to the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 7, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

The Rohingya have been subject to communal violence by extremist Buddhists for years, forcing large groups of Muslims to take perilous journeys and seek refuge in Bangladesh and other neighboring countries.

Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has come under fire for failing to protect the country’s Muslim minority from persecution.

She claimed on Wednesday that “a huge iceberg of misinformation” was spreading about violence in western Myanmar.

Iran to send aid to Rohingya Muslims

Separately on Thursday, the Iranian Red Crescent Society said it had set up a working group to help the Myanmar Muslims following an order by President Hassan Rouhani.

Hamid Jamaloddini, the society’s spokesman, said consignments of vital relief aid and medical items were ready to be dispatched to Myanmar. 

The Iranian official further noted that the society had informed the International Red Cross of its readiness to provide Rohingya Muslims who are in urgent need of living accommodations with residence.

Basij censures atrocities against Rohingya

Iran's Organization for the Mobilization of the Oppressed (Basij) also released a statement on Thursday, condemning the ongoing crimes against the oppressed Myanmar Muslims and the "shameful silence of the self-proclaimed rights defenders."

“Once again the world is witnessing a brutal and inhumane genocide against the Muslim people in the country of Myanmar despite the West’s fake and deceptive claim of protecting human rights," the statement read.

The Muslim-populated Rakhine region in Myanmar is now the scene of "one of the most heinous crimes against humanity," it noted.

“All these crimes, brutality and genocide and massacre, which are faced with the complacent silence of the West and the so-called human rights organizations, must be stopped swiftly with the pressure of Muslim and freedom-seeking countries," the statement added.

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