Sunday, January 22, 2006

Iraq's Sadr says his militia will support Iran

Firebrand Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has assured Iran that his Shi'ite Muslim militiamen will support the Islamic Republic if it comes under attack, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.

Although the United States and Israel have said they prefer diplomacy as a means to solve a dispute over Iran's atomic programme, they have not ruled out military options.

Washington accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

"If neighbouring Islamic countries, including Iran, should come under attack, then the Mehdi Army will support them," Sadr said on a visit to Tehran. READ MORE

Sadr's Mehdi Army militia rose up against U.S. occupying forces in Iraq in 2004.

In Iran, Sadr has met Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.