Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday (Nov 24) called for Muslim unity and resistance against what he called "hostile" policies of the United States and Israel.
"Muslims have no way but to remain united in order to achieve victory over the US and fight its blatant oppression," Rouhani told the 32nd International Islamic Unity Conference which kicked off in the capital Tehran earlier in the day.
"Submitting to the West headed by America would be treason against our religion ... and against the future generations of this region," Rouhani told the international conference.
In an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states which have close relations with the United States, President Rohani said: "We have a choice to either roll out red carpets for criminals, or to forcefully stand against injustice and remain faithful to our Prophet, our Koran and our Islam."
Iran and Saudi Arabia are presumed regional rivals as they supported opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen and different political factions in Iraq and Lebanon.
"We are ready to defend the interests of the Saudi people against terrorism, aggression and the superpowers... and we don't ask for $450 billion to do it," Rouhani said, referring to Saudi Arabia's contracts with the United States.
"You gifted them $450 billion to guarantee your security; you purchased $110 billion worth of weapons. You were told you were a milk cow which had to be milked. They told you without them you would not last two weeks."
"Today, the Muslim world is alone and Muslims should join hands. Relying on outsiders is the biggest historical mistake," he said adding:
"Today, there is no way for Muslims except unity and solidarity and if we unite, we can undoubtedly score a victory against the Zionists and the Americans."
President Rouhani said unity and brotherhood among Islamic countries must be assumed as a duty. Unity, however, cannot be achieved with words and requires collective action, he said.
The 32nd International Islamic Unity Conference began in the Iranian capital under the motto "Quds, axis of unity among Ummah."
The event is held annually on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad in a bid to lay the ground for stronger solidarity among Muslims and provide appropriate solutions to their problems.
According to Xinhua news agency, high-ranking political officials and religious figures, including 10 ministers and 40 Muftis, most senior religious scholars, were participating in the Nov. 24-26 international event.
The First International Islamic Unity Conference was inaugurated in 1987 in Tehran, Iran. After holding the 4th Islamic unity conference which was organized by Islamic Promotions Organization of Iran, then Ayatollah Khamenei as the supreme leader of Iran ordered to establish "the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought", since then, the conference is organized by the mentioned forum.