TEHRAN (Press Shia) – An Iranian lawmaker stressed the need for practical ways to force the government of Myanmar to stop oppressing the Muslim minorities, proposing that the Middle East nations should halt exporting energy to Myanmar as a punishment.

In an interview with Press Shia on Monday, member of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Abolfazl Hassanbeigi, called for concerted action by the Muslim world in condemnation of the ongoing violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

The bulk of Myanmar’s needs for fuel and energy is being supplied by the Middle East nations, he added, saying a threat of cut in energy exports to Myanmar could be a “constructive measure” in compelling the Buddhist government to stop violence against Muslims.

The Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have long faced severe discrimination and were the targets of violence in 2012 that killed hundreds and drove about 140,000 people from their homes to camps for the internally displaced.

Over the past days, intensifying clashes between security forces and insurgents in western Myanmar have sent about 300,000 terrified civilians scrambling toward the Bangladesh border in a desperate search for refuge.

A United Nations report in February said the military crackdown on the Rohingya had led to gang rape, the killing of hundreds of civilians and the forced displacement of people.