Rouhani: Islamic world cannot keep silence on Rohingya tragedy

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday urged international bodies and Myanmar neighbors to act in support of Muslims in Myanmar.

“The Islamic world cannot be silent towards these incidents,” Rouhani said, referring to cruelty toward the Rohingya Muslims in the Buddhist majority country, according to Tehran Times.

Speaking to reporters before his departure for Astana, Kazakhstan, for an international conference, the president called for pressure on the Myanmar government and Army to protect Rohingya civilians.

In the meantime, Hesamoddin Ashna, a senior cultural advisor to the president, said Rouhani planned to discuss the Rohingya issue while in Astana.

 Also, Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran’s vice president for women and family affairs, called on the United Nations to take swift action about the conditions of the Rohingya Muslims.

In her letter to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of the United Nations’ agency on women, Ebtekar underlined that women and children are most severely hit by the anti-human actions in Myanmar, urging the international body to assume a more effective role over the crisis.

On the same day, Ali Khorram, a senior analysts and former Iranian diplomat to UN bodies in Vienna, said Iran and Turkey should join hands to help the Myanmar Muslims.

The UN said on Friday that about 270,000 Rohingya Muslims have sought shelter in Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar two weeks ago.

A spokeswoman said the jump - up from 164,000 on Thursday - was because new pockets of people had been found, according to the BBC.

She called the figure "so alarming" and said urgent action was needed to address the situation in Myanmar.

M.Wassouf

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