Khamenei’s Remarks against Saudi Arabia Translate into Banners in Central Baghdad

Column: Khamenei remarks meant to escape Hajj debacle blame

The remarks of Iranian Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei against Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the pilgrimage season – in which he accused the Kingdom of killing the pilgrims – have been translated into Arabic banners filling the streets of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad,according to Arabi21.

However, Saudi Mufti Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh responded to the Iranian supreme leader and the Iranian regime, saying that “they are the enemies of Islam and Islamic creed, and the descendants of the Magis”.

Activists on the social networking sites circulated pictures of the banners which carried Ali Khamenei’s remarks against Saudi Arabia, saying: “The ruthless, criminal Saudis imprisoned the injured pilgrims in sealed containers with the dead ones, killing them rather than treating them.”

All the banners that filled the main streets of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, described the rulers of Saudi Arabia as “the cursed tree”, referring to the palm tree on Saudi Arabia’s emblem.

This campaign comes one day after Khamenei’s speech in which he said that the Saudi rulers killed “pilgims on the Corban Day in Mina and in the Holy Mosque before that”.

The banners that spread in Baghdad, were signed by the organizers under the title of “Media activities”. However, there has been no statement from the Iraqi authorities on this clear attack on Saudi Arabia.

The Iraqi-Saudi ties have recently witnessed a significant tension in the wake of the Iraqi foreign ministry’s demand from its Iraqi counterpart to change its ambassador in Baghdad, Thamir Sabhan, under the pretext of his offensive comments against the Iraqi “popular crowd” militias.

The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday he had heard of the Foreign Ministry’s request of the replacement of the Saudi ambassador in Baghdad, Thamir Sabhan, for interfering in Iraqi affairs, on “the media”.

Before that, Aws al-Khafaji, a militia commander, threatened on air to kill Saudi Ambassador Thamer Sabhan, saying: “We have to avenge on him; if Sabhan was assassinated in Iraq, this would be an honor to be claimed by everyone”.

For his part, Thamer Sabhan said in the first Saudi official response to al-Khafaji’s comments: “We are waiting for a statement from the Iraqi government regarding the comments made by one of its components (as it adopts the popular crowd), whether it agrees to this and adopts it?”.

However, the Iraqi government has not announce its position toward al-Khafaji’s threats to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Iraq so far.

Iraqi sources have told the Saudi-affiliated “Middle East” newspaper on plans masterminded by Iran to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Baghdad, Thamir Sabhan, and entrusted their implementation to Iran- affiliated Iraqi Shiite militias.

But Iraqi Foreign Ministry quickly denied these reports circulating about the existence of a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Iraq.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry considered in a statement on Sunday that “these reports aim to damage the relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia”, while confirming that “the Saudi embassy in Baghdad has not informed the ministry of the existence of any security threat targeting its ambassador”.