Abdul Lateef Bin Rashid Al Zayani Image Credit: Supplied picture

Manama: Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Abdul Lateef Al Zayani has condemned the abuse by an Iranian official of the late Saudi king, saying that it was “irresponsible.”

Last week, Iran’s Guardian Council Chairman and Tehran Mosque Friday imam, Ahmad Jannati congratulated Muslims over the death of Saudi king Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz.

“We should express condolences to the Israelis and Americans and congratulation to Muslims,” Jannati said on during his Friday sermon in Tehran, Iran’s Mehr news agency reported.

However, Al Zayani warned of the consequences of such statements.

“The abuse by Jannati of a great icon of the Arab and Islamic worlds who devoted his life to serving Islam and Muslims and championing Arab, Islamic and humankind issues is irresponsible,” he said. “Such antagonistic and hostile statements made by an Iranian official would only increase the gap between the GCC countries and Iran,” Al Zayani said.

Dr. Anwar Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, on Saturday was the first Gulf official to blast the abuse by Jannati, saying that the Iranian official was compounding Tehran’s relations with the Arab capitals.

“The attack by the mosque imam Jannati on our departed King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and on his life has sectarian overtones,” he posted. “It targets all of us and compounds Iran’s relations with Arab countries,” the minister posted on his Twitter account.

Dr. Gargash said that mosques should not be used to target the dead.

King Abdullah died in the first hour of January 23 and news of his death sparked huge messages of compassion and sympathy in social media and in political circles across the world.