Iran to send Aid to Myanmar Muslims via Bangladesh

An Iranian delegation will travel to Bangladesh on Thursday with a consignment of humanitarian aid for the Myanmarese Muslims, hundreds of thousands of whom have crossed into Bangladesh since late August to escape a military crackdown.

The Iranian diplomatic delegation, to be led by Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour, will be accompanied by a team from Iran’s Red Crescent Society (IRCS), Fars News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying.

The consignment of Iran’s humanitarian aid for the Myanmarese refugees will be delivered to Bangladesh, he added.

According to the spokesman, the Iranian delegation will also pay a visit to a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh’ city of Cox’s Bazar.

Iran is ready to build a refugee camp and a field hospital in Bangladesh for the Myanmarese Muslims with the permission of the Dhaka government, he added.

The spokesperson also noted that Iran’s ambassador to Thailand, who is also an accredited ambassador to Myanmar, is going to meet the Myanmarese Foreign Ministry officials to express Tehran’s stances and voice its concern about the plight of Rohingya Muslims.

As regards Iran’s diplomatic efforts to end the persecution of Muslims in Myanmar, Qassemi said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will discuss the issue on the sidelines of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

The Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have long faced severe discrimination and were the targets of violence in 2012 that killed hundreds and drove about 140,000 people from their homes to camps for the internally displaced.

On September 12, the UN refugee agency said the number of Rohingya Muslim refugees that have fled recent violence in Myanmar has spiked to about 370,000.

Earlier, the UN top human rights official accused Myanmar of carrying out “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” against Rohingya Muslims.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said the military’s “brutal” security campaign was in clear violation of international law, and cited what he called refugees’ consistent accounts of widespread extrajudicial killings, rape and other atrocities.

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