Friday, February 24, 2006

Many Sunnis see Iran behind Iraq shrine blast

Iran Focus: a pro-MEK website
The London-based Arabic-language website Elaph carried a report suggesting that Iran’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security may have been behind Wednesday’s bombing of a holy Shiite shrine in the city of Samarra, which destroyed the golden dome of the Askariyain shrine, the resting place of two revered Shiite Imams. READ MORE

On Friday, several prominent Sunni Muslim groups in Iraq pointed the finger at Iran for being involved in attacks on more than 150 Sunni mosques across Iraq in an attempt to flare sectarian divisions in the country.

The deputy governor of Saladin Province, where Samarra is situated, announced that the attackers were wearing Iraqi Interior Ministry uniforms. Iraq’s Interior Minister, a senior official in the Iran-backed Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, has been stripped of his authority after United States forces discovered that he was running secret torture chambers in collusion with Iran’s intelligence ministry.

The Iraqi National Accord party, headed by former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite, accused the pro-Iran Shiite coalition United Iraqi Alliance and the followers of the firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr of carrying out revenge attacks on Sunni mosques during which over 100 people were left dead.

The Iraqi Islamic Party had a similar position. The party’s secretary general Tareq al-Hashemi told the al-Arabia satellite channel on Thursday, The Shiite coalition and the followers of Sadr as well as their foreign supporters are behind this aggression”.

Al-Hashemi announced that following the recent surge in anti-Sunni violence Sunni groups would refuse to meet and hold talks with leaders of the Shiite coalition over the composition of the future government of Iraq.

He criticised the stance of the present government and current Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari over the disruptions as “irresponsible” and accused them of “not acting responsibly to control the situation”.

In a separate interview on the popular satellite channel Al-Jazeera, the Iraqi Islamic Party chief said that some 700 “trouble-makers” along with police attacked the party’s office in the southern city of Basra. He accused the police of allowing the crowd to burn their office and declared them to be responsible for the attack.