Addressing a huge gathering of people in Iran’s western province of Lorestan on Wednesday, President Rouhani underscored that Tehran places a very high value on the safety of the holy shrines of a number of Shiite imams, located in the Iraqi cities of Karbala, Najaf, Samarra and Kadhimiya district Tasnim news agency reported.
"We announce to the entire superpowers and their mercenaries, thugs and the terrorists that the great Iranian nation will spare no effort to safeguard the dignity of the holy sites (in Iraq),” he stressed.
Rouhani’s warning comes against a backdrop of terrorist attacks in Iraq by the armed members of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
In early June, following its large-scale offensives in Iraq, ISIL seized control of most parts of Mosul, the second most populous city in Iraq, and its surrounding Nineveh province. The terrorists’ attacks have reportedly forced more than half a million people in and around Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province, to flee their homes.
In the meantime, the Takfiri (extremist) militants have vowed to march toward the capital, Baghdad.
Presently south of Mosul, these ISIL militants are very close to the capital. Following a religious decree by the Iraqi senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, volunteers from different Iraqi cities have been shipped to the front in order to defend the capital and other cities.
Earlier on June 12, President Rouhani had underlined that Tehran will not allow terrorists and their supporters to undermine security and stability in Iraq.
"The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow those backing terrorists to disrupt security and stability in Iraq by exporting terrorism to the country,” Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.