facebook
twitter
search
search

Iran: Islamic religious divisions greatest threat to world stability

Nov. 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM
| License Photo

TEHRAN, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims may pose the greatest threat to world peace, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif said.

"I think we need to come to understand that a sectarian divide in the Islamic world is a threat to all of us," Zarif said, the BBC reported Sunday.

He charged longstanding tensions between the divisions of Islam had been inflamed by some for "short-sighted political interests."

Some 6,500 civilians have died in Iraq this year in sectarian violence.

Zarif cited Syria as a prime example, where what had begun as political dissension has become a war between Shia and Sunni elements.

No matter where people's allegiances lie in the country, Zarif said, "we need to work together on the sectarian issue."

Iran is a Shia state and Zarif accused Sunni Arab leaders of "fear-mongering" to heighten tensions.

"Nobody should try to fan the flames of sectarian violence," Zarif said. "We should reign it in, bring it to a close, try to avoid a conflict that would be detrimental to everybody's security."

Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states have accused Iran many of the tensions Zarif complained of.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kim Jong Un had terrapin farm manager executed, says source
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report
North Korea requests medical aid from U.N. agencies
Kenyan bishop warns Obama against pro-gay policy
Duma approves construction of $4 billion bridge to Crimea