The World Summit of Religious Leaders completed its work in Moscow. One of its participants, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Tashiri, leader of the Iranian Organization of Islamic Culture and Relations, expressed his opinion on the Iranian nuclear program and the situation in Iraq in a brief interview to Interfax-Religion.
- There is a broad debate about the Iranian nuclear problem today. How much does Iran need a nuclear program?
- We are on the way of economic and scientific development, and in this sense, our country stands in an urgent need of a nuclear program. The use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes is our legitimate right. Both the religious, political leaders and the people as a whole are unanimous in their opinion that we need to conduct research in the nuclear field.
- How would you describe the situation in neighboring Iraq?
- I am sure that as long as the aggressive forces, the invaders, are in Iraq, as long as the US policy is based on building confrontation between religious groups, there will be no peace in that country. The USA has unleashed a war in Iraq, but has failed to obtain its goals despite the convulsive efforts of the American leadership we are observing today. The policy chosen by America will not be a success, considering the struggle of the Iraqi people and the situation in the world as a whole.
- What goals you think the USA pursues in Iraq?
- The USA seeks to establish control over energy carriers and the so-called ‘democratic’ regime, which would be completely loyal to it. Besides, the Americans want to create a platform in that region from which to threaten neighboring countries. But I believe America is doomed to failure; it will not be able to achieve any of the planned goals.
- Recently there has been an upsurge of violence in Iraq on religious grounds. Do you agree that there is really a confrontation between the Sunnites and the Shiites there?
- According to the Islamic teaching, there are no serious differences between the Sunnites and the Shiites. But standing behind this conflict is a certain group of people who have their own interests, including political ones. In Iraq, there is an influence of some fanatical persons and interference of some other countries - all this is part of the policy of the aggressor who has unleashed this war.
I would like to note that the stabilization of the situation is possible provided the religious and political leaders in that country turn to their spiritual values.