Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned Nigeria’s envoy in Tehran, Ambassador Tukur Mani, over the killing of the Shiite Muslims in Zaria city, Kaduna State in the last two days, the FARS News Agency has reported.
The Nigerian army had clashed with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria whose members allegedly attacked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Saturday.
The Nigerian Army confirmed on Monday that about seven members of Shiite sect were shot dead while 10 other members of the group were wounded in its bid to ward off an alleged attack by the group on Buratai.
The army said the shooting by the troops accompanying the COAS’ convoy was “in line with Rules of Engagement” to save the life of the COAS from “heavily armed” members of the Sheik Ibrahim El- Zakzaky-led Shiite sect.
But the FARS News Agency reported that the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Monday summoned the Nigerian envoy to voice Tehran’s serious concern over the incident.
At the meeting, Zarif condemned the Nigerian army attack on the Shiite community as unacceptable, and reiterated the Nigerian government’s responsibility for protecting the lives of the Shiites and religious centers, especially the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran seriously demands clarification of the dimensions of the incident, treatment of the wounded people and compensation of the damages incurred at the earliest,” the Iranian diplomat said.
Mani, on his part, said that he would inform the Federal Government of Iran’s concern and provide Tehran with a response.
Earlier today, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, had voiced concern over the clampdown on the Shiite Muslims community, cautioning that the fate of Sheikh Zakzaky, was of crucial importance both to Iran and the Muslim world.
“Clarifying Sheikh Zakzaky’s fate is very important to the Muslim world and Iran,” Amir Abdollahian said on Monday.
He cautioned that Nigeria and the rest of the world Muslims wanted to see Sheikh Zakzaky sound and safe and in good shape.
Amir Abdollahian, meantime, pointed to the status quo of Iran-Nigeria relations, and said, “Tehran and Abuja have currently very good relations and the Nigerian president has recently visited Tehran.”
“Using this positive atmosphere reigning our relations, we have repeatedly cautioned them that they are responsible for this incident.”
The Saturday and Sunday crackdown on the Shiite community by the Nigerian army that ended in the massacre of the Shiites in several raids had caused serious concerns in Tehran.
Also earlier on Monday, the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission in a statement condemned the “barbaric” massacre of the oppressed Shiites of Nigeria in Zaria city, Kaduna State.