Gulf media have reported that global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has made a statement in which he supports the Iranian nuclear program. According to a Gulf newspaper report, Qaradawi said:
The hue and cry from America on Iran’s nuclear programme and the resultant danger is totally unjustified. I feel that Iran has the right to make use of its nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes. No one objects to the nuclear warheads possessed by Israel. It is one-sided logic. If Iran’s nuclear capability was a threat to Gulf Co-operation Council countries, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad would not have attended the recent GCC summit held in Doha. Our fear of Iran is in some ways an extension of our fear of the Shia school of thought. But we should not exaggerate such fears.
A previous post has reported on Qartadawi’s comments calling on Muslims to defend Iran against a potential U.S. attack.
The relationship of the Brotherhood to Iran is complex but in Lebanon, for example, the Brotherhood has been working closely with Iranian-backed Hezbollah since the 1980’s. Faisal Mawlawi is the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Lebanon and is also closely associated with Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. He is the the Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, the theological body headed by Youssef Qaradawi as well as a trustee of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, also headed by Qaradawi. In addition. Mawlawi is a trustee of the Union of Good, a worldwide collection of Islamic charities chaired by Qaradawi that raises funds for Hamas. In August 2005, Mideast news sources reported that “combatants” from the Brotherhood in Lebanon were fighting alongside Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon and that the group’s support of Hezbollah dated back to the 1980’s. This is the only known instance of armed Muslim Brotherhood units operating openly since the 1940’s.