News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqNajaf tribes accuse Iran of meddling in Iraqi affairs

Najaf tribes accuse Iran of meddling in Iraqi affairs

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Azzaman (Iraq): Tribal leaders meeting in the religious city of Najaf denounced what they described as “Iranian interference in Iraqi political affairs.” Azzaman (Iraq)

Tribal leaders meeting in the religious city of Najaf denounced what they described as “Iranian interference in Iraqi political affairs.”

The meeting was arranged by Najaf’s Tribal Council and included representatives from the mainly Arab Shiite tribes in central Iraq.

The tribal system in Iraq, revived after the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, is not divided along the country’s religious and sectarian roots.

Major tribes have followers among both Arab Shiites and Sunnis and have been holding regular meetings in the past two years.

“We denounce and condemn external meddling in domestic Iraqi affairs, particularly from Iran,” the tribal elders said in a statement faxed to the newspaper.

It said Iran had penetrated the southern and central parts of the country, working to divide Iraq into autonomous regions on sectarian lines.

The charges come amid U.S. and British accusations that Tehran had intensified its presence in southern Iraq.

Many Iraqi political factions and government officials had sought refuge in Iran to escape Saddam Hussein’s oppression.

Some spent most of their exile in Iran which helped them build their militias.

The statement urged tribes across the country to deny “terrorists and saboteurs” any form of assistance and work for the unity and integrity of the country.

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