- Iran's Pres. Ebrahim Raisi joined Arab and Muslim leaders for a summit hosted by Saudi Arabia on Saturday — the first visit by an Iranian president to the kingdom in more than a decade — following the escalation of regional tensions due to the war in Gaza.1
- Addressing the summit, Raisi called on the delegates to designate the Israeli army as a 'terrorist organization,' while leaders from the 57 mostly Muslim-majority states rejected Israeli claims that it was acting in self-defense.2
- While Raisi also called for the arming of the Palestinians, the delegates from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) urged an arms embargo against Israel that they claimed was destroying Palestinians' 'homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, and churches.'3
- On the summit's sidelines, Raisi and Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, Mohammed bin Salman, held bilateral talks on the Palestinian crisis, with the Saudi crown prince also committing to boosting ties with Iran.4
- In a resolution issued after the summit's conclusion, the Muslim leaders accused Israel of 'war crimes' and 'inhumane and brutal massacres' in Gaza. The communiqué also called for humanitarian aid to be allowed into the enclave and for a 'two-state solution.'5
- Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia and Shia-majority Iran suspended relations in 2016 following attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in response to the execution of a Shia cleric by Riyadh. However, the geopolitical rivals agreed to resume diplomatic relations following a China-mediated deal in March.6
- Anti-Iran narrative, as provided by Iran International. While the summit was intended to signal the Muslim world's unity against the alleged Israeli crimes in Gaza, it ended up showing disagreement above all. The participants not only rejected Tehran's push for sanctions against Israel because of its counter-offensive against Hamas, but they also rejected its demand to break off existing relations with Israel and to designate its army as a terrorist organization. What is preventing Muslim unity and regional peace is not Israel but the Iranian regime, which only seeks confrontation with Tel Aviv.
- Pro-Iran narrative, as provided by Tehran Times. Iran's presence at the summit was historic and highlighted how Israel's brutal campaign of collective punishment against Palestinians is not only uniting the Muslim world but also creating further rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as countries such as Egypt. The fact that there is not full consensus at such a major summit is nothing unusual and doesn't undermine the growing spirit of Muslim unity. It's not Iran but Israel and its Western sponsors who are sowing discord and have no interest in regional peace.