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Controversy in Iran over its Absence at UN Meeting on Rohingya

Controversy in Iran over its Absence at UN Meeting on Rohingya

Wednesday, 27 December, 2017 - 06:45
Rohingya refugees carry a man after traveling over the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 1, 2017. (Reuters)

Iran’s absence from a United Nations meeting to vote on condemning the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has stirred controversy in the country.

Iran has once again found itself in a defensive position after it was accused of double standards in addressing the Rohingya crisis.

Tehran rejected on Tuesday accusations against it, saying that it did not attend Sunday’s UN vote because of the “politicization” of the international organization’s human rights committee.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi blamed his country’s absence on “technical” issues, revealing that Tehran had relayed its stance on the Rohingya in a message to the UN general secretariat.

The UN human rights committee had issued several resolutions condemning human rights abuses in Iran.

Qassemi’s remarks did not help resolve the controversy in Iran over the Rohingya vote and the issue made headlines across the country on Tuesday.

The absence raised questions about the Iranian government’s stance on the Myanmar government and Rohingya, with media accusing Tehran of double standards.

Iran enjoys trade ties with Myanmar and the government has repeatedly ignored parliament calls to sever these ties.

The UN General Assembly on Sunday put forward a resolution, calling on Myanmar to end its crackdown against the Rohingya. The resolution, proposed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, was adopted by a vote of 122 to 10 with 24 abstentions.

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