Foreign ministers at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have backed a motion to suspend Syria.
The move came ahead of Tuesday’s full OIC summit in Mecca where the decision is likely to be adopted.
A majority of the 56 member states plus the Palestinian Authority are highly critical of the Syrian regime’s suppression of the 17-month long uprising.
However Iran’s representative Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi opposed the motion:
“The Syrian crisis is a fact. There is a crisis there. Every country, specifically Muslim countries who are members of the OIC should join hands to resolve this issue in such a way that will help towards the peace and security and stability of the region.”
The attempt to isolate further Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad points to a likely diplomatic showdown at Tuesday’s summit between Shi’ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Muslim states including Saudi Arabia.