Following are excerpts from an interview with the former Iranian ambassador to Syria, Mohammad Hassan Al-Akhtari, secretary-general of Ahl Al-Bayt World Assembly. The interview aired on Al-Manar TV on February 3, 2012.
Mohammad Hassan Al-Akhtari: "These Islamic countries, which we consider to be…"
Interviewer: "Turkey is an ally…"
Mohammad Hassan Al-Akhtari: "That is not an Islamic country, but a country of Muslims. All these countries are countries of Muslims, not Islamic countries. An Islamic state is a state whose rule is instated upon Islam. Any country whose rule is instated upon Western laws and American conspiracies is not an Islamic state."
Interviewer: "Saudi Arabia, for example, is an Islamic state."
Mohammad Hassan Al-Akhtari: "No, it isn't.
"The rule of Saudi Arabia is instated upon Wahhabism, not upon the Koran or upon Islam. If Saudi Arabia was really instated upon Islam, it would not take a stand against the Palestinian resistance. Today, we see how Israel devises plots on a daily basis, and operates against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem. Israel officially declared that Jerusalem is its capital, and none of these governments criticized or took a stand against this position. An Islamic state is a state that is instated upon Islam, upon the Koran, and upon Koranic and Islamic principles." […]