A leading Iranian cleric called on Iraqis to rise up against occupying US troops Palestinian-style and carry out human bomb attacks to drive out forces, in a Friday sermon.

 

"The Iraqi people are finally coming to understand that the solution is an uprising and they have no other choice but to rise up and stage martyrdom operations," said Ahmad Janati, Secretary General of the Guardians' Council.

 

Janati called on Iraqis to rise up
against US troops

 "This is the only solution; they are learning from the experience of Palestine," he added.

 

The cleric charged that the Americans want to "feed (Iraqis) democracy from their gun points and if they fear from death, they will have to surrender."

 

The United States has accused Iran of seeking to use Iraq's Shia Muslim majority to push for an Islamic state, undermining Washington's designs to instil its brand of democracy.

 

Tehran has categorically rejected US accusations that it is meddling in Baghdad.

 

Janati, whose country fought a bloody eight-year war against Saddam Hussein's government in the 1980s, charged that the Iraqis were not any better off now.

 

"The Iraqi people were released from the claws of one wolf and have been caught by another wolf," he said.

 

Janati also lashed out at a ceasefire concluded between US forces and the Iraq-based armed Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahadeen, which has been using Iraqi soil to battle Tehran's government for over a decade.

 

"The hypocrites (Tehran's standard term of abuse for the group) were servants of Saddam and now have become servants of the Americans," he said.

 

A spokesman of the group was quoted last month as saying that under the deal the group would be allowed to keep its arms, stay in Iraq and continue to wage its armed struggle.