Iraq Blasts Saudi Arabia for Anti-Shi'ite Remarks

(Reuters) Suleiman al-Khalidi - Iraq's interior minister lashed out on Sunday at a Saudi minister who voiced worries about growing Iranian influence and Shi'ite power, saying Iraq would not be lectured by "some Bedouin riding a camel." "We will not allow anyone to interfere in our internal issues, regardless of their political status," said Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabor, a member of the Shi'ite Islamist SCIRI party. "If they want to push 17 million Shi'ite Arabs in Iraq and tell them 'You are Persian' - you are pushing matters along a dangerous path," Jabor said. He said allegations that many Iranians were infiltrating into Iraq were baseless. Jabor hit back at Saudi Arabia's treatment of its own Shi'ites. These are believed to make up 10% of its native population, and complain of being marginalized by a government allied to Wahhabi Sunni scholars who consider Shi'ism a heresy.

2005-10-03 00:00:00

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