Interior minister calls Iraq’s holy sites Tehran’s red line

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli described the security of the religious sites in the holy cities of neighboring Iraq as Tehran’s red line, saying that the Islamic Republic will take action if the sites are put in jeopardy by the ISIL terrorist group.

“We have always announced that our red line is the holy shrines (in Iraq) and 40 kilometers from our borders (on Iraqi soil),” Rahmani Fazli said in a speech in the eastern city of Tabas on Thursday on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran.

He further described the ISIL and other terrorist and Takfiri groups as the “brainchild” of the US and the Zionist regime of Israel, saying the issue that ISIL can fight against governments with armed forces proves the fact that the group has a “powerful background” and is backed by certain states.

The interior minister emphasized that the major objective behind the emergence of such terrorist groups is to tarnish the image of Islam.

Iraq has been facing the growing threat of terrorism, mainly posed by the ISIL terrorist group.

The ISIL militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the last summer, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.

However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, have blunted the edge of the ISIL offensive.

Amid tensions in Iraq, Iran is known as the first country to help the Arab country and has always voiced support for Iraq’s solidarity and prosperity.

By Tasnim News Agency