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Condemnation as Iran envoy misses UN vote on Myanmar

Rohingya Muslims who fled from the ongoing military operations in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, line up for food aid at a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on September 20, 2017 [Safvan Allahverdi / Anadolu Agency]
Rohingya Muslims, who fled from the ongoing military operations in Myanmar, line up for food aid at a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh [Safvan Allahverdi / Anadolu Agency]

Iranian lawmakers and academics have criticised the Iranian envoy after he failed to attend a United Nations General Assembly voting on a draft resolution on Monday which called on Myanmar to end its military actions against Rohingya Muslims.

Iranian MP, Qasim Mirzai, told the Iranian Parliament News that he has officially requested an explanation regarding the ambassador’s absence from the UN voting session.

Mirzai likened the Myanmar government’s practices against the Rohingya to Daesh’s practices against Muslims.

Professor at Tehran University Sadiq Zibakalam described the Iranian envoy’s absence from the voting session as “regrettable and illogical”.

In an open letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif he asked why the envoy did not attend when Iran describes itself as “the defender of Muslims”.

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Spokesman for the Iranian foreign minister, Bahram Qasimi, said missed the session due to “technical” reasons, stressing that his country supported the draft resolution through an official document submitted to the United Nations.

However, the Iranian Mission to New York said its absence from the meeting was in protest against the structure on which the Third Committee resolutions are passed.

On Monday, 122 countries voted in favour of a resolution calling on Myanmar to end its military actions against Rohingya Muslims. Ten countries rejected the resolution including Russia, China and Syria.

The resolution, submitted by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, urged Myanmar to end its military campaign against the Rohingya Muslims and requested the UN Secretary-General to appoint a special envoy to Myanmar.

Since 25 August, violence against Rohingya Muslims has displaced more than 600,000 forcing them to seek refuge in Bangladesh.

 

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