Iran Foreign Minister Demands Embargo on Israel in Saudi Arabia Visit

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian speaks to journalists as he arrives
Amer HILABI/AFP via Getty

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian traveled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday for a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to condemn Israel for its response to the Hamas atrocities.

The Iranian representative urged the OIC to take stronger action against Israel, including an economic boycott.

“The foreign minister calls for an immediate and complete embargo on Israel by Islamic countries, including oil sanctions, in addition to expelling Israeli ambassadors if relations with the Zionist regime have been established,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry stated on Amir-Abdollahian’s behalf.

Amir-Abdollahian also called for an OIC team of Muslim lawyers to pursue Israel for “war crimes,” such as the false Hamas propaganda about Israel bombing a hospital, which the OIC apparently still treated as factual as of Wednesday morning.

“A few hours ago, a hospital in Gaza was targeted by the Zionist regime’s missiles and bombs. Based on our information, more than 500 patients and their companions as well as medical staff were martyred at once. This crime is intolerable for the Muslims of the world and those with an awakened conscience,” the Iranian foreign minister thundered. 

Every single word of that statement had been proven untrue by Wednesday morning, including the casualty count claimed by the Hamas-controlled “health ministry” in Gaza. Iran’s PressTV continued to report the Hamas propaganda as truth in the course of relaying Amir-Abdollahian’s comments.

The Iranian foreign minister did not seem interested in prosecuting the actual perpetrators of the bombing, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, for war crimes, to say nothing of prosecuting Hamas for the the wanton rape, kidnapping, murder, and torture of Israeli civilians that started the war in Gaza.

“In today’s meeting in Jeddah, the issue of the legal pursuit of Zionist war criminals and their supporters should be given serious attention and follow-up by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” he demanded.

Amir-Abdollahian said the OIC must “seriously pursue the immediate cessation of the Zionist regime’s criminal attacks against Gaza, the immediate sending of humanitarian aid to Gaza, and tackle the forced displacement of the people of Gaza.” The displacement he referred to was Israel’s extraordinary effort to evacuate Palestinian civilians before attacking the Hamas terrorist organization.

“I hope that we will see a global joint action to stop the crime against humanity, genocide and massacre that the fake and child-killing Zionist regime has initiated,” he said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said at the OIC meeting that Israel’s “siege” on Gaza must be lifted and Muslim nations should do more to protect the Palestinians. He did not mention protecting Israeli civilians against Palestinian atrocities.

“We stress the necessity of delivering aid to Gaza to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe,” Faisal said. “We stress the necessity of establishing a Palestinian state.”

The Palestinian envoy, Riyad al-Maliki, referenced the false Hamas propaganda in condemning the “deliberate” Israeli hospital attack that never happened. Maliki also accused the Israeli “war machine” of killing over 1,300 children in Gaza, and demanded more action against Israel by the international community, which he accused of doing nothing except “count the number of victims in Gaza.”

The OIC issued a statement on Saturday expressing “its absolute rejection and condemnation of Israel, the occupying power’s calls for the forced displacement of the Palestinian people, and attempts to transfer the humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the Israeli occupation to neighboring countries.”

The OIC also “strongly condemned the blockade of medical, relief supplies, and basic necessities to the Gaza Strip … as collective punishment, which is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”

The OIC has not condemned the savage October 7 Hamas surprise attack on Israeli civilians, nor has it accused Hamas of inflicting “collective punishment” on Israeli citizens by murdering, torturing, raping, and kidnapping over 1,200 of them. As of Wednesday morning, the OIC has not condemned Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the actual perpetrator of the “hospital bombing” falsely attributed to Israel.

A few OIC member states, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, have amended their initial statements blaming Israel for the Hamas atrocities to admit that Hamas initiated the current round of hostilities by launching a surprise attack.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to reflect a revised number on the death toll from the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel. The Israeli government estimate of 1,400 was revised to around 1,200, according to Reuters.


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