Iran slams terrorist attacks in Iraq, warns against sectarianism

 Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast

Press TV -(Sun Mar 31, 2013) Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has censured the recent terrorist attacks on Shia mosques in Iraq, and warned against ploys to exacerbate religious tensions in the country.

“At a time when Iraqi security forces have made great achievements to dismantle terrorism hubs through their domestic capabilities, acts of terror have been carried out with the purpose of intensifying sectarianism and turning political clashes into religious conflicts,” Mehmanparast said on Saturday.
He expressed confidence that terrorist acts would be thwarted through measures adopted by the Iraqi government and the vigilance of its nation.
The Iranian spokesperson once again reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s support for the Iraqi government’s efforts to fight terrorism, saying “convergence in the political sphere and cooperation among Iraqi political currents” would help combat terrorist groups.
At least 23 people were killed in a spate of bomb attacks that targeted four Shia mosques in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and the northern city of Kirkuk on Friday.
The attacks come amid a rise in violence across the country as Iraqis prepare for their first elections in three years. The provincial polls are due to be held in 12 of Iraq’s 18 provinces on April 20.
On March 20, two people were killed and four others wounded in a car bomb explosion in the Iraqi capital.
A day earlier, a wave of attacks in mainly Shia-populated neighborhoods of Baghdad killed at least 65 people and injured over 200 others.

Fars NA -(Sun Mar 31, 2013) FM Spokesman Condemns Terrorist Attacks on Iraq

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Iraq’s cities, and voiced Tehran’s support for Baghdad in its fight against terrorism.
Mehman-Parast’s remarks came in reaction to terrorist killing of more than 23 civilians, including women and children in a spate of bomb attacks that targeted four Shiite mosques in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and the Northern city of Kirkuk on Friday.
“At a time when Iraqi security forces have made remarkable achievements to dismantle terrorism hubs through their domestic capabilities, acts of terror are being carried out with the purpose of intensifying sectarianism and turning political disputes into religious conflicts,” Mehman-Parast said on Saturday.
He once again underlined Iran’s support for the Iraqi government’s efforts to fight terrorism, saying “convergence in the political sphere and cooperation among Iraqi political currents” would help combat terrorist groups.
Earlier this month, a senior Iranian legislator took the West responsible for the ongoing disputes in Iraq, saying that the West is seeking to undermine Iraq’s regional influence through rifts in the country.
The West seeks to preoccupy the Iraqi government with internal problems and prevent it from playing a role in regional developments, member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Seyed Baqer Hosseini said.
He added that the West cannot tolerate a stable and united Iraq and wants to break the country into three regions.
Hosseini said dividing Iraq into Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni regions is a Western plot which is being supported by certain currents in the Arab nation.
The lawmaker warned that the agents of foreign powers are infiltrating the ranks of protesters to get them to clash with the security forces in order to worsen the situation.
Iraq said earlier that several regional states, including Qatar, have paid $100 to each participant in protest rallies in al-Anbar province in support of Iraqi Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi, whose bodyguards have been arrested on terrorism charges.
Iraq’s al-Nakhil news agency quoted a security official as saying that after the arrest of Issawi’s bodyguards, several groups affiliated to the regional states, specially Qatar, paid huge sums to their sympathizers in Anbar, Salaheddin and Nineveh provinces to stage rallies against the Iraqi government.
Ouraq al-Khalij newspaper also informed that Doha is staunchly supporting Issawi for taking the leadership of Sunni protestors in Iraq.
The paper said Qatari officials had contacted a large number of their agents and hirelings in Iraq in recent days to coordinate the protests, adding that even the mottoes chanted against al-Maliki government have been dictated by Doha.

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