Jeddah – The Iranian government has declined an official invitation to participate in an emergency meeting held by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the level of foreign ministers to denounce Yemen’s Houthi militias attack against holy sites in Mecca.
Thursday’s OIC meeting comes upon a recommendation by the OIC executive committee to hold an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of member states in Mecca to discuss the attack and its repercussions.
Last month, Saudi Arabia said it had intercepted a ballistic missile some 65 kilometers from Mecca, noting that the missile had been fired from Yemen by Houthi rebels.
While no official statement has been issued by Tehran to clarify the reason behind its abstention from attending the meeting, well-informed diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the Iranian government has informed the OIC that it would not send a representative to the meeting.
The organization sent official invitations to all member states, including Iran, on Sunday.
Political analysts said that Iran was trying to avoid direct confrontation with OIC member states, as its role in arming Houthi militias was now obvious to all Islamic States.
Thursday’s meeting follows an earlier session held on Nov. 5 by the OIC’s executive committee, during which participants called on member states and the international community to take serious and effective steps to prevent the recurrence of such attacks in the future and called for holding accountable all those who smuggle weapons, provide training and continue to support the Yemeni insurgents.
Political experts had said that the majority of Islamic States were expected to ask Iran to stop its support to all armed militias in the Arab and Islamic world, including the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and to abide by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216, the implementation mechanism of the Gulf Initiative and the outcome of Yemen’s national dialogue.