Stop Fundamentalism – The Los Angles Times reported on June 17 that Southern Iraq has fallen under the sway of Shiite militiamen and political parties with ties to Iran, and Sunnis fear that they are being targeted with the Shiite-dominated government’s apathy, if not approval.
"We don’t want to accuse anybody, but we really want to ask the government, ‘Where is your new security plan?’ ", said Sheik Abdul Baset Subaii, a Basra spokesman for the Muslim Scholars Assn., a Sunni Arab religious group.
President Jalal Talabani, an ethnic Kurd who maintains friendly ties with both the United States and Iran, acknowledged in a TV interview Friday evening that some Shiite militias continued to receive support from Tehran. But he said Iraq was no stranger to foreign influence.
"There was a time when Iran funded us," said Talabani, who led a Kurdish rebellion against Saddam Hussein. "But as the president of the Republic of Iraq, I reject that and ask that Iran not interfere in the affairs of Iraq," he said on Al-Arabiya satellite channel.