Cleric lashes out at OIC failure to make full break
TEHRAN, Nov 17 (AFP) - A conservative Iranian cleric lashed out Friday
at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) for failing to make
a definitive break with the state of Israel at last week's summit.
"The least that could have been expected was that they cut ties
with Israel," said Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, Iran's former top justice,
during a sermon at weekly prayers carried live on state radio.
"Breaking ties is not something very difficult," he said.
"If you cut ties for a few days and prevent their crimes from continuing,
then you can resume ties once again. Why are you closing your eyes?"
Iran handed over the rotating presidency of the 56-nation group to host
Qatar at the summit, where Muslim countries failed to agree concrete action
despite hard-hitting words against Israel's "massacres" of Palestinians.
Qatar closed its Israeli trade office under pressure over the recent
bloodshed which has so far left more than 230 people dead, most of them
Palestinians killed by Israeli fire.
But the OIC in its final statement said only that it "invites"
member states to cut ties with the Jewish state.
Delegates said the term "requests" was watered down at the
insistence of African countries, several of which have ties with the Jewish
state and were opposed to a break.
Meanwhile Tehran was frustrated in its bid to hold an extrordinary meeting
of OIC foreign ministers ahead of the summit to address the fate of the
Yazdi said that Palestinian youth have "become the game of Israeli
hunters. They aim at their hearts, their eyes, their brains -- these youths
with just stones in their hand to defend their homeland."
Iran does not recognise the state of Israel and has repeatedly given
its backing to the latest intifada, or uprising, against the Israelis.
Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said Thursday that Israel's
"crimes have awakened the countries of the region to its power-thirsty
goals and the kind of peace it wants to impose."