Khamenei: US and Israeli intel services responsible for Iraqi shrine bombing

Friday, June 15, 2007

Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's highest-ranking religious and political leader, blamed the intelligence services of the United States and Israel for the bombing of the Askari Mosque in Samarra, Iraq. According to him,

The perpetrators of this huge crime, whether they be the remnants of the Saddamist Baath regime or the reactionary elements of Salafist and Wahhabist groups...there is no doubt that the spy agencies of the occupiers and the Zionists were the brains behind the evil plot.

On 13th of June 2007, Iraqi insurgents blew up the two minerets of the Askari Mosque. The shrine is important because it contains the remains of the Imam Hadi and Imam Askari. The son of Imam Askari is Imam Mahdi. This is especially important in the context of Iran's politics; according to Article 5 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Khamenei as an Islamic jurist is supposed to lead the "Ummah". Some Muslims object to this. For instance, one Islamic cleric has said that Khamenei "does not have a divine authority or right to determine the fate of other peoples and countries," referring to Muslims outside Iran.

Khamenei urged Sunni scholars to speak out against the sacrilege and Shia Muslims to remain calm. He believes that this bombing of part of a conspiracy to fuel sectarian tensions.

Earlier, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Lebanon also made the same charge and said, "Without doubt, the occupiers are providing the grounds for Salafi Takfiri groups and intelligence agencies to pillage the country."