Why some Shiites want Distance from Iran

Following the July 3 bombing at the Karrada market, in a predominantly Shiite area of Baghdad, that killed more than 300 people, Shiite activists criticized some Shiites for supposedly having more enthusiasm for International Quds Day than concern about the bomb attack, which produced the highest death toll in the country since the Iraqi invasion.

Among those holding such a view is Khudeir Fleih al-Zeidi, an Iraqi author and novelist from Nasiriyah, who told Al-Monitor, “Those who celebrated the International Quds Day did not mourn the victims of the attacks. The question is easy: Karrada or Jerusalem?”

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Naqaa al-Tamimi, a veterinarian who pursued her studies in Iran, said, “Why don’t Iranians show solidarity with our plight like the Karrada attack, knowing that we have the same confession, and we welcome them warmly on several yearly religious occasions?”

On July 4, apparently pro-Iranian Shiite militias, taking advantage of attention being focused on the aftermath of the Karrada attack, shelled Camp Liberty, where members of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition movement, are housed. The shells also landed in a nearby, predominantly Sunni refugee camp, perhaps by accident, killing three people and injuring 11 others. A prominent cleric from Najaf told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Some armed Shiite groups are only interested in abiding by Iranian orders. Why would Iraq shell the Liberty Camp and kill innocent Iraqis even if by mistake?”

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