News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqPetition condemns Iran for "disorder" in S.Iraq

Petition condemns Iran for “disorder” in S.Iraq

-

Reuters: More than 300,000 Iraqis including 600 Shi’ite tribal leaders have signed a petition accusing Iran of sowing “disorder” in southern Iraq, a group of sheikhs involved in the campaign said. By Mariam Karouny

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – More than 300,000 Iraqis including 600 Shi’ite tribal leaders have signed a petition accusing Iran of sowing “disorder” in southern Iraq, a group of sheikhs involved in the campaign said.

The sheikhs showed Reuters two thick bundles of notes which contained original signatures. The sheikhs said more than 300,000 people had signed the pages.

Such a public and organized display of animosity toward neighboring Shi’ite Iran is rare in Iraq. Iranian influence has grown steadily, especially in the predominantly Shi’ite south, since the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

“More than 300,000 people from the southern provinces condemned the interference of the Iranian regime in Iraq and especially in spreading security disorder in the provinces,” the sheikhs said in a statement.

They did not elaborate, but Washington and the U.S. military accuse Iran of arming, training and funding Shi’ite militias in Iraq. Iran denies the charge and blames the violence in Iraq on the U.S. invasion.

The sheikhs declined to be identified for fear of retribution. They said various groups had been collecting the signatures for six months across southern Iraq. It was not immediately clear what they planned to do with the petition.

With Shi’ite Muslims in power in Baghdad after the ouster of Saddam, a Sunni Arab who was an enemy of Tehran, ties have strengthened between the two oil-producing states.

But some Iraqis chafe at the influence of Iran’s more conservative brand of religion in the south.

Shi’ites comprise around 60 percent of Iraq’s population, generally put at 26-27 million before the 2003 invasion.

“The most poisonous dagger stabbed in us, the Iraqi Shi’ites, is the (Iranian) regime shamefully exploiting the Shi’ite sect to implement its evil goals,” the statement said.

“They have targeted our national interests and began planning to divide Iraq and to separate the southern provinces from Iraq.”

Iran routinely pledges its support for a stable Iraq, and political leaders from Baghdad regularly visit Tehran.

STRICT ISLAMIC RULES

The statement said that besides 600 Shi’ite tribal leaders, the petition was signed by a number of lawyers, engineers, doctors and university professors.

The group of sheikhs is the same one that told Reuters last month that Shi’ite Islamist political parties were imposing strict Islamic rules in southern Iraq and using their armed wings to create a state of fear.

Such fears are not unfounded — two provincial governors were blown up by roadside bombs in August, apparent victims of infighting between the Shi’ite parties for political dominance in the region, source of most of Iraq’s oil wealth.

Aides to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the reclusive religious leader of Iraq’s Shi’ites, have also been killed.

The Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) and the movement of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr are the dominant political forces in the Shi’ite provinces. Both have links to neighbouring Iran and believe Iraq should be governed according to Islamic principles.

SIIC and the Sadrists saw their rise to power cemented by the December 2005 elections which brought the Islamist Shi’ite Alliance to power. The Sadrists have since pulled out of the Alliance and the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, leader of the smaller Islamist Dawa party.

The growing strength of the Shi’ite parties in the south has weakened some secular tribal leaders and excluded them from power structures, a source of patronage and revenues.

(Writing by Dean Yates; Editing by Dominic Evans)

Latest news

Iran’s Youths Broke the Spell of Fear

One of the main characteristics of the recent protests in Iran is the courage and fearlessness of the people,...

Iran Is on the Brink of a Revolution

The wall of fear has been broken. In many cities across Iran, women are taking to the streets, leading...

Iran’s Regime Claims To Fill Global Energy Gap Despite Crippled Petroleum Sector

In recent weeks, the Iranian regime’s officials have been constantly exaggerating their huge capacity in oil and gas reserves...

What Is Happening in Iran?

Following the brutal killing of Masha Amini, the Iranian people have once again united to fight and defeat the...

Iran Regime’s Ministry of Culture’s Decision To Eliminate Children’s Intellectual Centers

With the so-called ‘Cultural Revolution’ which took place between 1980 and 1983, the Iranian regime tried to purge the...

Water Shortage Crisis and the Destruction of Iran’s Water Resources

Iran is currently suffering from a number of dangerous natural disasters. One of the most worrying is the drying...

Must read

Maryam Rajavi on Racial Equality in Iran

By Jubin Katiraie Once Iran is free from the...

Obama, G8 may remind Iran of their own “oil weapon”

Reuters: Late last year, Iran issued a series of...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you