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Khamenei Demands 'Action' By Muslims To Help Rohingya

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech in the capital Tehran, September 12, 2017

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has accused Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi of “inaction” against “massacre” of the Muslim minority in Myanmar and described her as “a pitiless woman”.

Meanwhile, ayatollah Ali Khamenei called upon Islamic governments to “act” against Myanmar’s pressure on its Muslim minority, the Rohingya.

Khamenei was referring to the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, where according to the UN 370,000 of them have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar since the army launched a huge security operation in response to attacks by Muslim militants late last month.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was speaking on Tuesday, September 12, in Tehran, in a religious lecture for seminary students.

Khamenei held the Myanmar government responsible for the bloody events and he added, “at the top of this government sits a pitiless woman who was awarded a Nobel prize and in fact these events mean the death of the Nobel Peace Prize."

"The solution is action by Muslim governments. We are not saying they should send troops there, but impose political and economic pressure," Khamenei said.

However, international fact sheets on Myanmar explicitly show that Khamenei’s recommendations, if implemented, have insignificant effect on Yangon’s government.

According to International Trade Center, “The country [Myanmar] is classified as a least developed country (LDC). Oil and natural gas dominate Myanmar's exports. Its abundant natural resources, labor force, and proximity to Asia’s dynamic economies have attracted foreign investment in the energy, garment, IT, food and beverages sectors.”

The international Trade Center fact sheet also clearly shows that none of the Muslim countries, save Indonesia, have any significant partnership with Yangon, “Myanmar's main trading partners are China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Germany and Hong-Kong. Myanmar is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).”

Nevertheless, Khamenei maintained, “The catastrophe in Myanmar should not be downgraded to a sectarian conflict between Muslims and Buddhists”.

The crisis is the outcome of a political issue that might have been affected by some degree of “religious bigotry,” Khamenei said.

However, Ms. Aung, whose position in Myanmarese government is equal to a prime minister, recently told President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey that the reports on widespread killing of Rohingiya are baseless and in fact faked by the “terrorists”.

Khamenei begged to differ, insisting that he deplored the “catastrophic violence against Muslim people in Myanmar”. He also strongly criticized the “muted response and inaction” by the international organizations and the “self-proclaimed advocates of human rights” to the “plight of Myanmarese Muslims”.

Moreover, he called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene "for this specific purpose and to discuss what measures can be taken for these Muslims."

Earlier, President Hassan Rouhani had also condemned Myanmar events as a “barbaric crime against Muslims” and called upon Myanmarese government to stop the “atrocities”.

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented comment, the outspoken MP from Tehran, Ali Motahari criticized the Islamic Republic regime for its “aloofness” toward non-Shi’a Muslims, “The Islamic Republic’s main concern is Shi’a, while Islam is comprised of not only, but Shi’a as well as Sunnis”.

Motahari also maintained that Turkey’s performance in tackling the case of Rohingiya has been much better that Iran’s.

“Myanmarese government’s violent action against its Muslim minority will never stop without being confronted by military power”, Motaheri remarked.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Monday, estimated that, so far, 313,000 Muslims have fled the province of Rakhine, in West Myanmar, to Bangladesh.