Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 31
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Prominent Iranian Cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati congratulated Muslims over the death of Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
"We should express condolences to the Israelis and Americans and congratulation to Muslims and those who really care about Islam and Shia," Jannati said on Jan. 30 during his Friday sermon in Tehran, Iran's Mehr news agency reported.
Abdullah was enemy of Shiites and founded and supported Takfir, Jannati said, adding "he will be punished for his activities."
A takfiri is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy. The accusation itself is called takfir. Iranian officials refer to extremist Sunni groups in Iraq and Syria as Takfiri.
This is while another high-ranking cleric, Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli decried the joy expressed by some Iranian media following the death of the Saudi king.
"The rejoicing over the death of individuals is neither recommended nor obligatory in Islamic teachings. Why should we hurt the feelings of some groups (Saudi people)?" the senior cleric said.
Some of the Iranian media affiliated to conservatives have expressed joy over the death of Abdullah.
King Abdullah died on Jan. 23 at about the age of 90. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif participated in the memorial ceremony of the deceased Saudi king. The country's President Hassan Rouhani also extended his condolences to the Saudi government and people on the monarch's demise.
Iran and Saudi Arabia, the region's foremost Shiite and Sunni Muslim powers hold different views over several regional issues such as the situations in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.
Iran is a close ally of the Syrian government and has always shown its support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, while Riyadh supports Sunni rebels trying to topple him.
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