Skip to main content

Rouhani adviser summoned over Iraq comments

Despite clarification by Pesident Hassan Rouhani's adviser, conservative critics of Ali Younesi are asking him to step down.
Shi'ite fighters from Hashid Shaabi forces launch a rocket during clashes with Islamic State militants on the front line at the Shi'ite Turkman village of Bashir, 20km south of Kirkuk, March 14, 2015. Kurdish peshmerga forces, backed by Shi'ite militia fighters, have been attacking Islamic State-held towns and villages south and west of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, peshmerga sources said. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT POLITICS MILITARY) - RTR4TCBR

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s adviser for religious and minority affairs, Ali Younesi, was summoned to the Special Court for Clergy over comments he made about Iraq and Iran forming a “natural union” due to their “inseparable” geography and culture. According to Tasnim News, after he was questioned, Younesi was released on bail. Though his case has not been sent to court, according to the prosecutor for the Special Court he is charged with “statements against national security.”

While Younesi said in his controversial March 8 address that “I don't mean we should remove our borders,” in discussing the historical and cultural ties between Iran and Iraq, he said, “Iraq is not only part of our civilization influence, but it is our identity, culture, center and capital.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.