BEIRUT: The National Islamic Gathering in Lebanon said Thursday that the conflict in Iraq was “a revolution of the oppressed," condemning Tehran’s influence in the war-torn country.
The meeting convened at Tripoli MP Mohammad Kabbara’s residence, where they released a statement concerning the conflict overtaking Iraq.
The attendees slammed “the tyrannical practices” of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and referred to him as “the prime minister of Tehran in Baghdad.”
The participants called the Iraqi crisis “a revolution of oppressed people against an oppressor,” calling on all rebel groups to reject sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia sects.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) took over the city of Mosul and has been on a lightning offensive against Baghdad, building on growing discontent among Iraqi Sunnis against the Shiite-led government of Maliki.
Sunni tribal groups and elements from the former Baathist regime have joined the growing insurgency, as Shiite militias have volunteered to assist the government forces.
They also called on “Syrian brethren to unite their forces and arms against Assad’s oppressive and criminal regime,” warning of the dangers of waiting on foreign assistance.
“Foreign [support] does not help the oppressed [in] protecting their rights, but intervenes to secure its interests at the cost of the oppressed,” the statement said.
The memo advised Sunnis in Lebanon to exercise patience and self-control, urging citizens to avoid inter-sect conflict.
The attendees said the Arab Spring had been transformed into a playground for sectarian tensions, adding that such conflicts aimed to damage the parts of Lebanon that fall outside of Tehran’s influence.
“In spite of the persecution, neglect, and conspiracies targeting the Sunni sect ... we must remember that patience is the key to salvation” they said.