Rouhani: Iran Will do Everything to Protect Iraq Shrines

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President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran would do whatever it takes to protect revered Shiite Muslim holy sites in Iraq against Sunni militants fighting the Baghdad government.

"Dear Karbala, Dear Najaf, Dear Kadhimiyah and Dear Samarra, we warn the great powers and their lackeys and the terrorists, the great Iranian people will do everything to protect them," he said, naming the sites of the shrines in an emotive speech in Khoram-abad, near the Iraq border.

Rouhani on Saturday pledged to help the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government if it asked for assistance, though at that time no such request had been forthcoming.

In his speech, Rouhani mentioned petitions signed by Iranians who said they were willing to fight in Iraq "to destroy the terrorists and protect the holy sites", which are visited by hundreds of thousands of Iranian pilgrims annually.

"Thank God there are enough volunteers Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq to fight the terrorists," he added.

The Iranian pledges follow a call by top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for Iraqis to volunteer to resist the onslaught spearheaded by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who hold the major cities of Mosul and Tikrit and are fighting north of the capital.

Iran is 90 percent Shiite. Maliki, a Shiite, spent years in exile in Iran when Sunni Arab dictator Saddam Hussein was in power in Baghdad.

ISIL considers Shiites to be apostates. 

The major Shiite shrines in Iraq are in Najaf and Karbala, south of the capital, in the district of Kadhimiyah in Baghdad and in Samarra to the north, which the militants have made repeated, but so far unsuccessful, efforts to enter.

At least 5,000 Iranians have pledged online to defend Iraq's Shiite shrines against the Sunni extremists, a conservative news website in Iran reported on Tuesday.

Comments 11
Missing forces 18 June 2014, 10:46

Did you mr rouhani say to America that Iraq does not need help? Make up your mind man. And as usual you are spreading your sectarian agenda. Protecting Shiaa shrines. What is your view on Sunni shrines that are being destroyed? You know these terrorists don't discriminate makes you perfectly aligned to them.

Thumb geha 18 June 2014, 14:04

Iraq is falling into a deep sectarian civil war.

Thumb geha 18 June 2014, 14:04

Iraq is falling into a deep sectarian civil war.

Default-user-icon Real Talk (Guest) 18 June 2014, 14:34

These despicable Irani fanatics are it again; they starve Palestinians, slaughter Syrians, enslave Lebanon, built up the Houthis in Yemen to challenge the government and now want to exterminate the Sunnis from Iraq. I applaud the Sunnis for finally standing up to these monsters and pushing back against the evil Welayat El Faqih agenda.

Thank God for the GCC that has provided employment, sanctuary and lifelines to hundreds of thousands of Arabs (Muslims, Christians and Druze) in addition to generous financial support to a NUMBER of ARAB countries. There's nothing respectable of Iran or its "people and culture"--all ignorant, uneducated, illiterate brainwashed servants.

Revoke the citizenship of the all the 3jam and ship them back to where they belong!

Thumb cedre 18 June 2014, 15:10


Default-user-icon Marco (Guest) 18 June 2014, 16:55

yalla wla

Thumb FlameCatcher 18 June 2014, 17:27

Great, we have several hundred thousand Iranians in Lebanon more willing to die for you than actually participate in civil life and pay taxes. You can have them all to go fight and protect shrines anywhere in the region outside Lebanon !

Missing peace 18 June 2014, 18:00

sure! good boy you just repeat perfectly well hezbi propaganda....

Thumb FlameCatcher 18 June 2014, 18:19

Ultrairani : bring in the sunni fanatics and lets see for ourselves. We are not in a position to defend other countries. It's neither the role of our army or so-called resistance.

if these islamists reach Lebanon, they will have to face the wrath of the LAF, Hezbollah and Lebanese Sunni factions who will exterminate them like rats !

And please, do not talk about Sunni Fanatics when you support Shiite Fanatics. They are two sides of the same coin !

Missing peace 18 June 2014, 18:34

hey ultrahabiba: sure i have a long beard and i am a cannibal... beware of your balls they are the best part to eat!

oh! my bad, i will not rejoice as you have none:(

Missing dubailebanese 19 June 2014, 02:27

Waleed what is the difference between the filthy mahdi army and the isi? The mahdi army is one of the filthiest terrorist militias on earth.