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Iran FM says Daesh terrorism aims to sow religious discord in Afghanistan, urges OIC action

This combo shows Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Yousef al-Othaimeen.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Daesh attacks in Afghanistan are aimed at sowing religious discord in the crisis-hit country, urging the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to condemn such attacks.

In a phone call with OIC Secretary General Yousef al-Othaimeen on Monday, Amir-Abdollahian said extremist groups are among the most important challenges facing the region.  

Pointing to the acts of terrorism by Daesh in Afghanistan, he threw Iran’s weight behind more active role of the OIC, particularly its chief, in dealing with the ongoing problems in the war-ravaged country.

He emphasized that the OIC chief and its members should condemn Daesh inhumane measures, including the Takfiri group’s recent “terrorist and criminal” attacks at two mosques in the Afghan cities of Kunduz and Kandahar.

More than 60 people were killed in three back-to-back explosions that hit the Bibi Fatima mosque during Friday prayers, one of the biggest blasts in Kandahar. It came just a week after a bomb attack killed more than 150 people and left scores of others injured at a Shia mosque in the northeastern city of Kunduz.

Both tragedies were claimed by a local affiliate of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which has a long history of attacking Afghanistan’s Shia minority.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi said on Sunday that Daesh terrorism seeks to complete a failed mission pursued by Western occupiers in Afghanistan, calling on Afghan officials to use national capacities and ensure security in the country.

The Iranian foreign minister also commended efforts by the OIC Secretariat to help facilitate the reopening of the Islamic Republic’s mission to the organization in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

Afghanistan should not turn into terrorist groups’ safe haven: Othaimeen

Othaimeen, for his part, outlined the OIC measures to resolve problems in Afghanistan and said the country should not turn into a safe haven for terrorist groups.

He stressed the importance of forming an inclusive government in Afghanistan, observing human rights, particularly rights of women, and showing solidarity with the Afghan people.

He emphasized that the OIC does not discriminate between followers of Islam and believes that all Muslims enjoy equal human rights.

Muslims and worshippers of any religion should not be targeted by terrorist attacks, the OIC secretary general said.  

Pointing to recent talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Othaimeen expressed hope that such negotiations and contacts would continue and result in positive outcomes for both countries.

Iraq has hosted several rounds of direct talks between Iranian and Saudi delegations since April with the aim of resurrecting relations severed five years ago over a host of issues.

The negotiations were launched under Iran’s former President Hassan Rouhani, and continued with renewed vigor by the new administration headed by Ebrahim Raeisi.

Speaking at his weekly press conference on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia have progressed based on “mutual respect.”

He said the two sides have discussed “bilateral and regional issues” in the ongoing talks, with Iran underlining its concerns in unambiguous words.

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