News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIraq speaker blames Iran for murders of Shiite clerics:...

Iraq speaker blames Iran for murders of Shiite clerics: report

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AFP: Iraqi parliament speaker Hajim al-Hasani has accused Iran of being behind the assassination of two top Shiite Muslim clerics in Iraq in 2003, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported. AFP

KUWAIT CITY – Iraqi parliament speaker Hajim al-Hasani has accused Iran of being behind the assassination of two top Shiite Muslim clerics in Iraq in 2003, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported.

“Baghdad has conclusive evidence of Iran’s involvement in the assassination of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim and Abdul Majid al-Khoie,” he was quoted as saying by Islamist sources, Al-Anbaa said in its Thursday edition.

The accusation came during a meeting between Hasani, a Sunni Muslim, who left Kuwait on Wednesday after a four-day visit, and a number of Kuwaiti Islamist MPs, the daily said.

“Hasani told the MPs that Iran saw that Hakim and Khoie did not serve its future interests in Iraq … because of their firm position on Iraq being an Arab country,” the paper quoted the sources as saying.

Hakim, former leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), was killed in a massive car bombing in late August 2003 in the Shiite holy city of Najaf that cost more than 80 lives.

Khoei, a moderate who had cooperated with the British and US governments while in exile, was stabbed to death in April 2003 in Najaf, another Shiite holy city.

An Islamist MP who attended the meeting confirmed the Al-Anbaa report to AFP.

During the meeting, Hasani also charged that Iran was behind a number of bombings in Iraq aimed at escalating tension in the war-ravaged country, the paper said.

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