OIC Strongly Condemns Iran

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Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan: Most recently, The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in its Foreign Ministers’ extraordinary meeting, held in Jeddah strongly condemned Iran for its irresponsible attitude on the issue of burning of Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Tehran and Consulate in Mashhad on 2nd January, 2016. Afterwards, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia quickly severed its diplomatic ties with Iran.

The OIC Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting was chaired by Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait, Chairman of the current session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. It was held at the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to consider the storming of the two Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran.

During the meeting OIC has stressed on all member states and the international community to take all serious and effective steps to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of such aggressions on diplomatic and consular missions in Iran in the future. A comprehensive declaration was also adopted during the said meeting. H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, led the UAE delegation to the meeting. As usual, the Iranian delegation declared its rejection of the joint statement and dissociated itself from it.

The OIC’s  the Foreign Ministers’ extraordinary meeting adopted a joint statement which also  convicted Iran’s “inflammatory” statements on Saudi Arabia’s execution of terrorist convicts as a “blatant interference” in the national affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The OIC further criticized Iran’s constant interference in the domestic affairs of the different regional states mainly Bahrain, Yemen and Syria and Somalia and its continued support for terrorism.

The joint statement clearly showed that the aggressions against the missions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Tehran and Mashhad constituted a blatant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, and international law which guarantees the inviolability of diplomatic missions and imposes the immunity of and respect for diplomatic missions accredited to any State.

The joint statement says that the OIC’s condemnation of the attacks is “in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, both of which emphasise the inviolability of the premises and members of diplomatic missions, and the obligation of the host country to provide necessary protection against any aggression.

Moreover, the joint statement adopted by all its members expects Iran is also based on the Charter of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Charter of the United Nations on the preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and the non-interference in their internal affairs.”

The OIC communique referred to the statement issued by the UN Security Council on 4th January to condemn the assault on the premises of the Saudi embassy and consulate in Iran.

“The OIC Council of Foreign Ministers discards and rejects Iran’s inflammatory statements on the execution of judicial decisions against the perpetrators of terrorist crimes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, considering those statements a blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a contravention of the United Nations Charter, the OIC Charter and of all international covenants which call for non-interference in the internal affairs of Member States, particularly those affairs that are within internal legislations,” the communique said.

The OIC also expressed full support for, and backing of the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all member states to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of its source and objectives. It also said it supports the legislative and legal measures taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to counter aggressions against its diplomatic and consular missions in Iran.

The OIC communique affirmed the statements made by member and non-member states, the UN Security Council, the League of Arab States, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and other regional and international organisations, which firmly condemned and deplored the aggressions on the Saudi embassy and consulate in Tehran and Mashhad.

The communique also called for denouncing the sectarian and denominational agenda as it carries destructive impacts and serious repercussions for member states’ security and stability and for international peace and security.

It underscored the importance of reinforcing relations of good neighborliness among the member states for the good interest of peoples, consistent with the OIC Charter.

It reiterated the OIC’s support for all political efforts to achieve permanent settlement to conflicts among member states based on the charters of the OIC Charter, UN Charter and international law.

The OIC requested its secretary-general to inform the UN Secretary General and regional and international organisations of today’s communique and to submit a report thereon to the next session of the Council of Foreign Ministers.

Salient Features of Joint Statement

All the OIC members showed great concerns about Iran’s constant conspiratorial role in the internal affairs of the regional states. They strongly condemned Iran’s negligent attitudes towards other regional countries and its embassies especially arson attack on Saudi Arabia’s mission in Tehran. Iran’s irrational attitude has seriously violated the norms, conventions, decrees and law promulgated and guaranteed by Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961. It was also against the spirits of bilateral relations. It was against the world peace and modern civilization where any dispute and conflict is settled on the table through dialogue and diplomacy. Salient features of the joint statement are given below as:

  • OIC condemns the aggressions against the missions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Tehran and Mashhad. It constitutes a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, and international law which guarantees the inviolability of diplomatic missions and imposes the immunity of and respect for diplomatic missions accredited to any State in a clear and binding manner.
  • OIC affirms that these aggressions contravene the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Charter of the United Nations, which call for promoting trust and fostering friendly relations, mutual respect and cooperation among Member States, resolving conflicts through peaceful means, preserving peace and security, and abstaining from interfering in the internal affairs of States.
  • It discards and rejects Iran’s inflammatory statements on the execution of judicial decisions against the perpetrators of terrorist crimes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, considering those statements a blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a contravention of the United Nations Charter, the OIC Charter and of all international covenants which call for non-interference in the internal affairs of Member States, particularly those affairs that are within internal legislations;
  • It denounces Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of the States of the region and other Member States including Bahrain, Yemen and Syria and Somalia) and its continued support for terrorism.
  • It extends full support to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all member states for all its efforts against terrorism and sectarianism.
  • It endorses the legislative and legal measures taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to counter aggressions against its diplomatic and consular missions in Iran
  • Affirms the statements made by Member and non-member States, the UN Security Council, the League of Arab States, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and other regional and international organizations, which firmly condemned and deplored the aggressions on the Embassy and Consulate of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Tehran and Mashhad;
  • It strongly denounces the sectarian and denominational agenda as it carries destructive impacts and serious repercussions for Member States’ security and stability and for international peace and security.
  • It stresses the importance of reinforcing relations of good neighborliness among the Member States for the good interest of peoples, consistent with the OIC Charter.
  • It calls on all Member States and the international community to take serious and effective steps to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of such aggressions on diplomatic and consular missions in Iran in the future.

Earlier the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said it was downgrading its diplomatic relations with Iran. The UAE recalled its ambassador in Tehran and said it would also reduce the number of diplomats stationed in Iran. Sudan also expelled the Iranian ambassador and the entire Iranian diplomatic mission in the country. Sudan also recalled its ambassador from Iran.

 GCC’s Strong Stance

 Even before this said meeting, all the countries of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) showed solidarity with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and strongly condemned Iran for its belligerent policies during a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh. Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir says Saudi Arabia may take more deterrent measures against Iran to check its foreign policy behavior and to contain its growing interference in the affairs of Arab states.

The GCC foreign ministers, in a statement lent their full support to any measure against Iran to halt Tehran’s “terrorist acts” and to ensure that it refrains from “meddling in the affairs of Arab nations.”

Riyadh also urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the Iranian attacks on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, said Al-Jubeir.

The foreign minister lambasted Iran, saying that “we cannot deal with a country that attacks and burns embassies. He said Iran has to make a decision whether it stands and behaves like a civilized nation. “If it is a nation state, it should act like a responsible state. If not, it will be further isolated,” said the minister.

Al-Jubeir said that the Kingdom would welcome the time and the opportunity to see Iran “act like a normal country” in the comity of nations.

The GCC, as a bloc, also strongly condemns Iran’s meddling in the internal affairs of the Kingdom and the GCC. The GCC called on the international community to take serious measures against Iran to prevent repetition of such attacks on diplomatic missions in the future.

Time and again, Saudi Arabia and the GCC showed their serious concerns about Iran’s constant incidents of infiltrations and meddling in the domestic affairs of the GCC, MENA and allies of Saudi Arabia.