Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Thursday strongly condemned the bombing of a most revered Shiite shrine in the northern Iraqi city of Samarra on the previous day, the state-run Alalam satellite TV channel reported.
The Iranian supreme leader blamed the secret services of the U. S.-led occupation and Israel for masterminding the "criminal act," Alalam reported on its website.
"The perpetrators of this huge crime, whether they be the remnants of the Saddamist Baath regime or the reactionary elements of Salafist and Wahhabist groups...there is no doubt that the spy agencies of the occupiers and the Zionists were the brains behind the evil plot," Khamenei said.
Insurgents blew up two minarets of the Shiite shrine in Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad, on Wednesday morning, raising fears over escalation of sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq.
Khamenei urged Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq to "remain vigilant in the face of the enemies' plots to sow discord among Muslims."
The leader said it was the second such attack against the holy shrine under the rule of the occupation in Iraq, stressing that the occupiers cannot shun their responsibility for the criminal act.