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Iran: OIC states’ normalization with Israel betrayal of Muslims

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Ministry Director General for International Peace and Security Reza Najafi (R) is seen at the 47th session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’s Council of Foreign Ministers in Niamey, Niger, November 28, 2020. (Photo by IRNA news agency)

Iran has denounced the normalization of ties between certain member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Israel as “a betrayal of Muslims” and a violation of the 57-nation body’s principles.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Director General for International Peace and Security Reza Najafi made the remarks at the 47th session of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers in Niger’s capital, Niamey, on Saturday.

Najafi expressed serious concerns about a decision by certain OIC countries to forge formal diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv, saying, "Any interaction with the fake and illegal Zionist regime, whose life involves 60 years of crime, murder, torture and displacement of thousands of Palestinians, is considered a betrayal of Muslims and a violation of the fundamental principles of the OIC and will deal a serious blow to the unity of the organization’s member states and the Muslim Ummah."

“A few members of the organization betrayed the Muslim Ummah by revealing their secret relations with the Zionist regime,” he added.

Najafi further urged the international community to strengthen efforts towards upholding the Palestinians’ inalienable rights to return to their homeland and establish an independent state in the occupied territories, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed normalization pacts with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during an official ceremony hosted by US President Donald Trump at the White House in mid-September.

The following month, Trump said Israel and Sudan had also established economic ties as a pathway toward normalized ties.

Palestinians condemned the deals as a treacherous "stab in the back".

Iran scientist assassinated by ‘Israel’s mercenary terrorists’

Elsewhere in his comments, Najafi referred to Friday’s assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was a professor of physics at Imam Hussein University in Tehran and headed the Defense Ministry's Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND). 

“Yesterday, an Iranian scientist was assassinated by Israel’s mercenary terrorists. It may be related to the betrayal of [Muslims]. We strongly condemn this cowardly terrorist act and remind that the era of hit and run is over,” he said.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said in a message on Saturday that “the wicked hands of the global arrogance, with the usurper Zionist regime as the mercenary, were stained with the blood” of the prominent scientist.

Regional ‘dialogue’ sole way to settle rifts

The Iranian official also stressed that relying on foreigners will not bring security for the countries in the region and will rather cause despair for them.

“We call on everyone to engage in dialogue as the only constructive and fruitful way to resolve differences. Together, we will mark a better future for our region. As one of the founders of the OIC, the Islamic Republic of Iran which believes in the principles of the organization, has put friendship and brotherhood between Islamic countries at the forefront of its foreign policy, and has always initiated and defended peace and security in the Persian Gulf, Yemen, Syria and Iraq and Lebanon and other regional issues," Najafi underlined.

Additionally, he condemned US unilateralism, including economic terrorism against developing countries, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The illegal US measures restrict nations’ access to medical supplies and hamper their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"These measures may bring about dire consequences for international peace and security as well as development worldwide,” he noted.

“The world is now watching whether the new American leaders will abandon the destructive, illegal and bullying methods of the outgoing regime and opt for multilateralism, cooperation and respect for the law or not …! Regardless of any change in the US government's approach, the Islamic countries must be collectively determined to preserve their unity in order to resolve problems.”

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