Iran says US blame over Iraq protests ‘astonishing’

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi blamed the unrest on US support for “groups which have spread and promoted violence and extremism.” (File/AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018
0

Iran says US blame over Iraq protests ‘astonishing’

TEHRAN: Iran described as “astonishing” Wednesday US accusations that its allies in Iraq were responsible for attacks on US diplomatic missions during deadly unrest last week centered on third city Basra.
Both the US consulate in Basra and its embassy in Baghdad came under attack but the offices of political parties and militias backed by Iran were the principal target of the unrest in Basra while the Iranian consulate in the city was burnt to the ground.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi blamed the unrest on US support for “groups which have spread and promoted violence and extremism.”
“The US government must be held accountable for its years of support for these groups,” Ghasemi told the semi-official ISNA news agency.
“America should know that by playing such clumsy blame games, it cannot cover up the consequences of its wrong, fruitless and destabilising policies in the region.
“Issuing such statements lacks credibility, and is astonishing, provocative and irresponsible.”
Ghasemi was responding to a statement by the White House on Tuesday, which criticized Iran for failing to prevent the violence, particularly the attacks on the US diplomatic missions.
“Iran did not act to stop these attacks by its proxies in Iraq, which it has supported with funding, training, and weapons,” the statement said.
The rare attack on the US embassy in Baghdad came on Friday when three mortar rounds were fired at the capital’s fortified Green Zone, though no casualties or damage was reported.
Bitter foes Iran and the United States are Iraq’s principal allies and have long vied for political influence.


Muslim World League chief meets Lebanese religious leaders

Updated 24 September 2018
0

Muslim World League chief meets Lebanese religious leaders

  • Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa started his visit by meeting with Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdullatif Durian
  • The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) met with several religious leaders during his official visit to Lebanon

JEDDAH: The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) met with religious leaders during his official visit to Lebanon.
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa started his visit by meeting with Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdullatif Durian.
Al-Issa also met with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi. During the meeting, the secretary-general stressed the importance of dialogue in order to promote common values based on love, respect and cooperation, and to confront hatred.
He visited Elias Audi, Metropolitan bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. They discussed bilateral cooperation and coordination.
Al-Issa also met with the president of the Supreme Islamic Shia Council, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan.
The secretary-general met with Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Al-Aql Naim Hassan. They discussed bilateral cooperation and coordination.
Al-Issa also met with Bishop Boulos Matar, Chaldean Bishop Michel Kasarji and Armenian Catholic Patriarch Krikor Bedros.