ASIA/IRAQ - “Why the international community united and resolute must stand up to extremist violence here in Iraq ” Father Nizar Semaan tells Fides

Wednesday, 7 April 2004

Baghdad (Fides) - Commenting on the latest episodes of violence in Iraq a local Catholic priest Father Nizar Semaan in Mosul, sent the following statement to Fides: “Behind the clashes provoked by Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr there is certainly Iranian fundamentalism. There can be no doubt. Moqtada Sadr’s forces come directly from Iran where he took refuge while Iraq was ruled by Saddam. The international community must be united and resolute, it must not cede before violence. To leave Iraq now would be a crime against the Iraqi people and it would have serious consequences for the whole region. Just think what would happen if Iraq’s oil was in the hands of Iran, a country which many suspect, although it has accepted control by the International Agency for Atomic Energy, has or is about to have its own atom bomb. It is enough to recall the concern voiced by certain European countries with regard to the Isfahan installation. This is a very delicate moment which can be overcome only if the international community stands united and resolute against extremist violence. This is the only way to stop Moqtada Sadr. He is an extremist, disliked by other Shiite leaders. I pray for the many victims of this violence but I am convinced that only resolution can prevent the worse from happening”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 7/4/2004, righe 14; parole 193)