Referring to the recent incidents and developments in the region, including a mob attack at the Iranian consulate building in Iraq’s southern city of Basra, Ramin Mehmanparast told IQNA that the US and its regional friends are not happy to see close cooperation and friendship between Iran and Iraq.
Therefore, he said, they are making attempts to drive a wedge between the two neighboring countries and create discord between the two nations.
He said the mourning rituals held in the lunar Hijri month of Muharram (September 11-October 10) and the upcoming Arbaeen pilgrimage (held in late October this year) will be good opportunities to foil the enemy scheme to cause division between the two nations.
The former Iranian ambassador to Poland added that there is need for vigilance against such plots and the enemy’s psychological and media war.
On Friday evening, a mob of angry protestors stormed into the Iranian consulate in Basra, destroyed the diplomatic mission’s properties, took down the flag of Iran and torched the building.
The Iranian consulate’s building was not the first to be set on fire. The angry demonstrators had earlier set government buildings ablaze as well. The buildings included the headquarters of the local government, the ruling Dawa Party, the Supreme Islamic Council and the Badr Organization.
Shia Muslims around the world, including in Iran and Iraq, hold mourning rituals in the month of Muharram, marking the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) and his faithful companions in the 680AD Battle of Karbala.
Arbaeen marks 40 days after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and third Shia Imam.
Each year, a huge crowd of Shias march toward Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.
In the past few years, around 20 million pilgrims from all over the world, including Iran, took part in the mourning ceremonies in Iraqi holy cities marking Arbaeen.
This year, Arbaeen falls on Tuesday, October 30.