Iranian hardline newspapers said there were signs of an Israeli-US plot behind comments by Pope Benedict XVI that linked Islam to violence and sparked a wave of anger among Muslims all over the world.
The daily Jomhuri Islami said Israel and the United States could have dictated the remarks to distract attention from the resistance of Hizbullah to Israel's offensive on Lebanon. "The reality is that if we do not consider Pope Benedict XVI to be ignorant of Islam, then his remarks against Islam are a dictat that the Zionists and the Americans have written (for him) and have submitted to him."
"The American and the Zionist aim is to undermine the glorious triumph of Islam's children of Lebanese Hezbollah, which annulled the undefeatable legend of the Israeli army and foiled the Satanic and colonialist American plot," it said, according to AFP.
Another daily Kayhan said there were signs of Israeli inteference aimed at creating conflict between Islam and Christianity. "There are many signs that show that Pope Benedict XVI's remarks regarding the great prophet of Islam are a link in a connected chain of a Zionist-American project," it said.