Sunday, September 25, 2005

Divide and rule. Iran and Saudi Arabia concerned about Iraq.

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"We believe when suspicious hands are at work to sow factional and ethnic discord among Muslims in Iraq and the entire region, we should not act in such a way as to enable the enemies of Islam to take advantage of these differences," Asefi told Iran’s official news agency, IRNA.

http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=3794

According to Iran Focus, 24 September 2005, Iran (which is mainly Shiah) has hit back at Saudi Arabia (which is mainly Sunni) about its comments on Iraq.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister had criticised the United States for employing an 'incorrect' strategy in Iraq which has led to 'Iranian domination' over Iraq.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said that U.S. policy had deepened sectarianism in Iraq to the extend it was effectively handing over the country to Iran.

Iran’s semi-official daily, Jomhouri Islami, attacked al-Faisal’s comments as a form of “meddling” in the internal affairs of Iraq.

“The remarks last week by Saud al-Faisal saying that America’s incorrect policies in Iraq could in the future hand over this country to Iran have had a lot of coverage in Western and Arab media”, the hard-line daily wrote.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said that the statement by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal implicating Iran in unrest in Iraq was surprising and illogical.

"We believe when suspicious hands are at work to sow factional and ethnic discord among Muslims in Iraq and the entire region, we should not act in such a way as to enable the enemies of Islam to take advantage of these differences," Asefi told Iran’s official news agency, IRNA.

The hard-line Jomhouri Islami said the Saudi official’s remarks were “influenced by Western propaganda” and by U.S. policy in the region.

“While these comments are insulting to Iraqi officials, they also show a desire to meddle in the internal affairs of Iraq”, the daily said.

Al-Faisal warned that civil war could break out in Iraq if tensions increased between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, adding that such a conflict would lead to Iranian interference as it had interests in Iraq’s Shiite-dominated south.

"We have launched together a war to alienate Iran from Iraq after the expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait, and now we are handing over the whole country to Iran, unjustifiably", the Saudi Foreign Minister said.The Saudi prince went on to say that Iranian agents had established their own militias and had bribed much of the police force in regions in Iraq under U.S. and British control.



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