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Iran Reportedly Involved in Assassination Attempt Against Shiite Cleric in Iraq

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  • MewNews Editor
    Iran Reportedly Involved in Assassination Attempt Against Shiite Cleric in Iraq GMP20030826000115 London Al-Sharq al-Awsat in Arabic 26 Aug 03 p1 [Report by
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2003
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      Iran Reportedly Involved in Assassination Attempt
      Against Shiite Cleric in Iraq
      GMP20030826000115 London Al-Sharq al-Awsat in Arabic
      26 Aug 03 p1
      [Report by Ali Nuri Zadah in London: "Sources in Qom
      Hint at an Iranian Role in the Assassination Attempt
      Against Ayatollah Al-Hakim."]

      [FBIS Translated Text]
      The assassination attempt against prominent Shiite
      cleric Ayatollah Muhammad Sa'id al-Hakim in the Iraqi
      city of Al-Najaf two days ago triggered a wave of fear
      and anxiety from Al-Najaf's Hawzah [the Shiite
      seminary] to the Hawzah of the Iranian city of Qom.
      A number of senior clergymen were preparing to leave
      Qom to Al-Najaf to flee the recent constant harassment
      by the Religious Court and the Revolutionary Guard.

      In a telephone interview with "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" the
      son of a prominent clergyman in Qom said his father
      "was preparing to travel to Al-Najaf in mid-September
      after it became very difficult for him to exercise his
      role as a religious authority and teacher in the
      Hawzah in Qom," as he put it. The source added, "it
      became difficult to assume if my father or other
      religious authorities could travel following the
      lamentable events, which Al-Najaf has witnessed since
      the killing of Hojatolislam Abd-al-Majid al-Khu'i and
      the recent assassination attempt against Ayatollah
      Al-Hakim."

      The source and other sources did not rule out the
      involvement of elements of the Iranian intelligence or
      the Revolutionary Guard and "Faylaq al-Quds"
      [Jerusalem Brigade] in the recent assassination
      attempt without the knowledge of the Iranian
      Government." These sources said they believed the
      relocation of Iranian Shiite clergymen to Al-Najaf
      including Husayn Khomeini -- the grandchild of the
      leader of the Islamic Revolution who is now in Baghdad
      -- embarrasses the ruling elite in Iran and bolsters
      the status of the Hawzah of Al-Najaf to the detriment
      of Tehran.

      "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" learned that an attempt to kill
      Husayn Khomeini was discovered following the arrest of
      elements linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in
      Iraq. Knowledgeable sources said the fact that the
      US forces were holding Sa'id Abu-Talib and Suhayl
      Karimi -- the two Iranian television correspondents --
      in custody in Iraq was attributed to information
      leaked about their affiliation with the squad that was
      commissioned to kill Husayn Khomeini.

      Another source that visited the site of the attack on
      Ayatollah Muhammad Sa'id al-Hakim in Al-Najaf said the
      attempt holds the fingerprints of trained assassins.
      The source said, "there must be a link between what
      happened in Baghdad -- the bombing of the UN
      headquarters --, the premeditated attack on the
      British forces in Al-Basrah that killed three
      soldiers, and Al-Najaf incident." He said he
      believed there were specific objectives behind these
      incidents.

      [Description of Source: London Al-Sharq al-Awsat in
      Arabic -- Influential Saudi-owned London daily
      providing independent coverage of Arab and
      international issues; editorials reflect official
      Saudi views on foreign policy]



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