Iran tells Arabs now is time to act over Gaza attacks
December 31, 2008
Iran's president told the Arab League, which began a meeting on Wednesday, it must act quickly to end Israeli attacks on Gaza Palestinians adding that setting up a committee or making speeches was not enough.
But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not suggest specific action by Arab states, some of which non-Arab Iran has criticised for not doing enough to protect Palestinians after more than 380 deaths.
Israel's attacks have prompted protests by Iran's hardline students, particularly targeting Egypt's mission. Cairo has been singled out mainly for not opening a border crossing with Gaza. Students have threatened to storm the mission.
Students broke into a British diplomatic compound on Tuesday. Iran has accused Western states of bias towards Israel.
"If the Arab League does not want to do anything today, when does it want to act?" the president told a rally in Zahedan in southeast Iran.
"Aren't these oppressed Palestinians Arabs? So when should the capacity of the Arab League be used? The Arab League should act quickly," he said in a speech broadcast on state television.
He added that setting up a committee and making speeches were not adequate and would let Israel to continue its actions.