Iran says Iraq's ongoing developments will have no impact on Arba'een march
Iran says the ongoing unrest in Iraq will have no impact on ceremonies to commemorate Arba’een, which marks 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), Muslims' third Imam, stressing that the Iraqi government and nation as well as influential figures will certainly settle the internal issue.
The Iraqi government and nation have so far succeeded in solving many crises with prudence, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in an interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on Monday.
"During the occupation of the country by the American forces and after that, many events took place in Iraq, but the Iraqi government and nation have managed to overcome all these issues through prudence and wisdom [achieved] as a result of consensus among all Iraqi parties and groups as well as political and religious figures," he added.
He advised those who have a covetous eye on the recent spate of unrest in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and some other cities to advance their own interests "not to bother themselves and know that these are internal affairs of Iraq."
The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that the Arba'een march would be massively held with the participation of devotees of Imam Hussein (PBUH) from Iran and other parts of the world.
Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan confirmed for the first time on Sunday that 104 people had been killed, including eight security officers, and more than 6,000 wounded in the country's protests.
The protests began last Tuesday, with demonstrators calling for better living conditions. The rallies soon turned into riots as some protesters started vandalizing public properties and attempted to enter the Green Zone in Baghdad -- which houses government offices and foreign diplomatic missions.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that enemies have been struggling to drive a wedge between the Iranian and Iraqi nations but have failed as the two neighbors are bound together by commonalities, particularly faith.
“Enemies have been making considerable efforts to sow discord between the two nations, but thank God they have failed and will fail from now on too, because the main factors binding the Iranian and Iraqi nations are their faith in God and love for the household of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and [his grandson and the third Shia Imam] Imam Hussein (AS),” the Leader said.
On Friday, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the top Shia cleric of Iraq, urged security forces and protesters to avoid violence, expressing sorrow over some sporadic unrest that has led to several casualties.
“It is sorrowful there have been so many deaths, casualties and destruction” from clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in recent days, Ayatollah Sistani said in a letter.