Afghan officials must provide security for Shias, Iranian president says

Raisi says ISIS, Zionist crimes are result of Western policies

April 23, 2022 - 21:14

TEHRAN — Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi has said the crimes committed by the Zionist regime against Palestinian worshippers and those committed by ISIS against Afghan worshippers are the result of movements created by the West.

Speaking at a religious congregation marking the anniversary of Imam Ali's martyrdom (PBUH) early on Saturday, Raisi said the current Afghan authorities are responsible for protecting all Afghans, including Shias.

He stated that Imam Ali exhorted Muslims to join with the downtrodden against the oppressors, pointing out that the world is witnessing two crimes against Muslims: the Zionists oppressing Palestinian worshippers and ISIS killing Afghans.

Regarding the Palestinian cause, the president stated that the fate of the Palestinian nation is decided by resistance movements rather than negotiators. He also described the impending International Quds Day as a symbol of Muslim solidarity and integration, expressing optimism that the day will result in the freedom of Quds and the victory of Palestinians to keep their rights that have been due for 70 years.

Bloodiest Ramadan in Afghanistan’s history

An explosion claimed by the Islamic State at a Shia mosque in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif on Thursday killed at least 11 people, a health official said, one of a series of blasts around the country. A separate blast led to at least 11 more casualties in Kunduz, another northern Afghan city, on Thursday, according to a provincial health official.

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh expressed Tehran’s deep concern over repeated bitter terrorist attacks in different cities in Afghanistan.

Khatibzadeh said targeting fasting worshippers is “disgusting”.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman called for patience by the bereaved families and wished recovery for the injured.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Mazar-e-Sharif attack.

The explosions took place during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and two days after blasts tore through a high school in a predominantly Shia Hazara area in western Kabul, killing at least six.

“A blast happened in 2nd district inside a Shia mosque,” Mohammad Asif Wazeri, the spokesman for the Taliban commander in Mazar-e-Sharif told Reuters.

Zia Zendani, the spokesman for the provincial health authority, said 11 people had been killed and 32 wounded in the blast.

Tens of Afghan cities held a demonstration in west of Kabul on Friday in protest to the terrorist attacks on Shias. They demanded “Stop the Killing of Hazaras”. The also shouted “Justice, Justice”.

The protestors demanded the Taliban to protects the lives of the Shia Hazaras.

Farhad Darya, a famous Afghan cultural figure, made a tweet on Thursday saying, “We can save lives! We can stop this genocide together!