Ayatollah Shahroudi raps Riyadh for irrational stance on Nigeria

Qom, Dec 19, IRNA – Vice-Chairman of Assembly of Experts strongly criticized Saudi Arabia for taking side with the Nigerian army in the massacre of Shia Muslims of the African country.

‘The Saudi Arabia’s coalition with the US and arrogant powers is blatant example of friendship of blasphemers; the Saudi king’s congratulation to the perpetrators of the Nigeria’s crimes is shameful and disgraceful,’ Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi said on Saturday.

He reiterated that attacking and mass killing of the innocent Shiites of Nigeria in a country that has about 15 million Shiites and an apparent Muslim government is one of painful these painful crimes against Islam.

‘In a country where Boko Haram kills innocent people and takes the children and women as slaves and no effective measure is taken against it, they treat 15 million Muslims in a violent manner only for fulfilling their religious duties and staging protests against Israel,’ Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi said.

The Nigerian army attacked two religious centers of the country’s Shiite community on Saturday, killing hundreds of defenseless civilians there. A few hours later on Sunday, the military arrested Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky after raiding his house and killing his son, assistants and followers.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Nigeria’s charge d’affaires in Tehran over the massacre of the Shiite Muslims in Zaria city, Kaduna State.

The Iranian foreign ministry summoned the Nigerian envoy to voice Tehran’s serious concern over the incident.

At the meeting, Head of the foreign ministry’s first office for African affairs condemned the Nigerian army attack on the Shiite community as unacceptable, and reiterated the Nigerian government’s responsibility for protecting the lives of the Shiites and religious centers, specially the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

‘The Islamic Republic of Iran seriously demands clarification of the dimensions of the incident, treatment of the wounded people and compensation of the damages incurred at the earliest,’ the Iranian diplomat said.

The Nigerian charge d’affaires, for his part, said that he would inform his government of Iran’s concern and provide Tehran with a response.