Muqtada al-Sadr condemns attack on Iran consulate
Friday, 29 November 2019
Influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has condemned an arson attack on the Iranian consulate in Najaf, dismissing allegations that his followers were behind the Wednesday incident.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has condemned an arson attack on the Iranian consulate in Najaf, dismissing allegations that his followers were behind the Wednesday incident.
“We condemn attacks on diplomatic missions, because such acts are not characteristic of the Sadr Movement,” Muqtada al-Sadr was quoted as saying by Iraq’s Al-Ahad TV.
His comments came after a group of masked assailants stormed the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic mission in Najaf and set it ablaze on Wednesday night.
They also took down the compound's Iranian flag and replaced it with an Iraqi one.
Iraq's foreign minister on Thursday called his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif to apologize to Iran over the incident.
Mohammad Ali al-Hakim told Zarif that Baghdad was committed to protecting Iranian diplomatic missions and their staff in the Arab country.
raqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has also ordered the formation of a fact-finding committee to probe the attack on the Iranian consulate, al-Forat News reported.
He had earlier appointed Major General Ali al-Hashemi as the new security chief of Najaf province following the mob attack.
Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi on Thursday blamed the arson attack on certain Iraqi and non-Iraqi elements, and described it as a move to undermine good relations between the two countries.
The torching of the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Najaf was definitely aimed at severing brotherly relations between the two Muslim and neighboring countries, he said, adding that the friendly relations have outraged certain regional states.
Masjedi noted that such moves by a small group of assailants in Iraq do not reflect the Iraqi nation’s view of Iran, as the majority of Iraqis have repeatedly shown their opposition to such acts and their love for the Iranian nation.