Jan 31, 2016, 3:12 PM
News Code: 81942976
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Sectarianism main challenge of Islamic World today: Deputy FM

Tehran, Jan 31, IRNA – Sectarianism is the main challenge of the Islamic World today, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday.

Speaking in a local ceremony, Araqchi referred to the recent Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) ministerial meeting in Jeddah and said that certain states including Saudi Arabia have always tried to manipulate the organization as a tool to secure their interests.

He pointed to the Palestinian government's one year-long request for holding an emergency meeting on Israel attack of Al-Aqsa Mosque and expressed surprise that the emergency meeting was held to condemn attack on Saudi embassy in Tehran.

The Iranian government has also condemned the attack and will pursue punishing those behind the attack on Saudi missions in Tehran and Mashhad, Araqchi said.

Most of the countries attending the OIC meeting rejected the detail of final statement on Saudi embassy attack, he added.

The official said 'We condemned the attack on Saudi embassy in Tehran but we believe that today sectarianism is the big challenge.'

Immediately after attack on Saudi embassy, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pledged to protect the security of foreign missions and prosecute those responsible for attacking Saudi diplomatic missions.

Rouhani blamed 'extremist individuals' for the attacks, which targeted the Saudi embassy in Tehran and consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad in response to Saudi Arabia's execution of prominent Shi'ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

He also condemned Saudi Arabia's execution of (prominent Shia cleric) Nimr, calling it a violation of 'human rights and Islamic values' and accusing the Saudi monarchy of pursuing 'sectarian policies which have destabilized the region in recent years'.

Demonstrators protesting Nimr's execution broke into the Saudi embassy building in Tehran earlier on January 3, smashing furniture and starting fires before being ejected by police.