PARIS, 28 Feb. (IPS) The recent tragic events in Iraq following the explosion of the shrine of two Shi’ite imams in Samarra demonstrated the maturity of Iraqi political and religious leaders in the one hand and the sickening immaturity of those in charge of the ruling theocracy in Iran on the other.
So far, the event has claimed more than 150 lives among Iraqis of both faiths and, as warned by the Defence minister, if it is not ended quickly, it would become a civil war that would not end.
If Iraq disintegrates , then Iran will become the dominant power in the region.
However, while all senior Iraqi officials, both religious and political, have, except for a few marginal or noise-makers such as the so-called “rebel” cleric Moqtada al Sadr, have refrained from targeting any particular formation but followers of the deposed and imprisoned dictator Saddam Hussein, as did Ayatollah Abdolaziz al Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SCIRI), the Iranian leadership continue to blame the “occupation forces”, meaning the United States, Britain, and of course, the Zionists.
While all Iraqi leaders, both political and religious, calls on their followers to avoid retaliatory actions, the ruling Iranian ayatollahs on the other increases the velocity of the fan of mutual hate and fratricide war by supporting blatantly, almost openly the islamist terrorists and supporters of the former Iraqi president.
While Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Iranian-born supreme leader of the Iraqi Shi’ites, as well as Mr. Hakim and other Shi’a-based political personalities in the one hand and the highest-ranking Sunni clerics have called for calm, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the leader of the Islamic Republic, known for his double speak, described the explosion as a “political crime with its roots in occupation’s intelligence organizations and the Zionists”.
He was immediately parroted by his protégé, the fanatic president Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad and “al Alam” (the World), the 24 hours Arabic service of the Iranian conservatives-controlled television -- that can be received without satellite dishes --, organizing endless and uninspiring round table and debates castigating the same “occupation forces and Israel”, claiming that the Americans and the British, “engulfed in the Iraqi quagmire” in the one hand, and the Israelis “defeated” by the victory of HAMAS in Palestine on the other, are trying to stir inter-religious fighting aimed at weakening the Shi’a and maintaining the supremacy of Israel on the region.
"It is true that the elements involved in the explosion were a couple of misled and radical Sunnis, but everyone knows that these people are the puppets of the occupying forces, who incur heavy costs, design very accurate plans and encourage such weak persons to do whatever they want," read an editorial in the fundamentalist Iranian paper “Jomhuri-ye Eslami”.
"During the past years, these elements have been trained with the budget of America and England in order to have an anti-American face but to be the agents of America. They are in fact the children of the Satan that has occupied Iraq at the moment", the paper, which belongs to Mr. Khameneh’i, added.
In Qom, the Shiite seminary city in Iran, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, a high-ranking cleric, cast the attack as an attempt to deprive Iraq's majority sect of its recent success in national parliamentary elections.
While Iraqi leaders accused followers of deposed president for the Samarra explosions, Iranians immediately accused the "occupation forces and Israel".
"The occupiers and enemies of Iraq after their failure in the elections there have committed this grave crime in order to create civil war," he said, according to Iranian state radio.
It was therefore not surprising to see armed, black-clad Shi’ite militiamen of Moqtada’s Jaish al Mahdi, or the Army of Mahdi, backed, financed and armed by Tehran swarmed the streets of Baghdad and other cities immediately after the explosions, firing rockets at Sunni mosques.
In fact, while the “occupiers” that had lied about their motives for attacking Iraq have every reason to see stability and peace prevailing in that country, the only regime in the region that would badly suffer from restoration of democracy and freedom in Iraq, -- where the parliament, the government and the president are elected on the free vote of the people and not selected, as it is the case in Iran, where the press is free and women enjoy same rights as men -- would be the Islamic Republic of Iran. But if Iraq disintegrates and there is sectarian division between the Shi’ites, Kurds and Sunnis, then Iran will become the dominant power in the region. ENDS IRAQ IRAN 28206