Iran trying to address Rohingya Muslims’ problems: Spokesman

IRNA – Iran, through diplomatic channels, is trying its best to help Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, who have been victims of an ethnic cleansing in the southeastern Asian country, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Friday.

‘We have contacted the Myanmar government via the Islamic Republic embassy in Thailand, which is accredited embassy to Myanmar, to dispatch humanitarian assistance to Rohingya Muslims via Red Crescent Society,’ adding that such contacts have not yet produced desired results.

He added, ‘Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in separate phone calls with his counterparts, has also called for an end t the violence against Muslims in Myanmar.’

Qasemi said Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations has been directed to hold talks with several UN officials and the foreign diplomats of Islamic countries in the international body to follow the conditions of the Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar.

He added, ‘Iran would continue its diplomatic efforts to dispatch humanitarian aids to the oppressed Muslims in Myanmar.’

Once Myanmar accepts Iran’s proposal for sending humanitarian aids, Qasemi said, a delegation from Iran Foreign Ministry would travel to that country alongside the aid convoys.

He said Iranian embassy in Bangladesh has asked Dhaka government to pave the way for dispatching Iran’s humanitarian aids to Myanmar.

He added that Tehran has held talks with Ankara as the rotatory president of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), urging for a rapid end to violence against Muslims in Myanmar.

He said that Zarif wrote to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Jan 6, 2017 to demand an international action to stop rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

‘In his letter addressed to Guterres, Zarif said the plight of the Rohingya Muslims has caused international concern,’ Qasemi added.

He said Iran’s diplomatic apparatus would seriously pursue the situation of Muslims in Myanmar.

Meanwhile, Zarif in a letter to the UN chief on Friday (Sept 8) expressed regret over the alarming conditions of the Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar, calling for an immediate end to violence against them.

The international community and Islamic countries expect the government of Myanmar to put an immediate end to the ongoing violence against Rohingya Muslim community, Zarif said in his letter.

More than a quarter of a million mostly Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh, the United Nations said on Thursday (Sep 7), as bodies washed up after boats sank attempting to cross the river that divides the countries.

In the last two weeks alone 164,000 mostly Rohingya civilians have fled to Bangladesh, overwhelming refugee camps that were already bursting at the seams.