Washington (Jul. 12)
The former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem received extensive support and funds from Mussolini for arousing a holy war against the English, it is revealed in a memorandum of a conversation in Rome among Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, Mussolini and his Foreign Minister and son-in-law Count Ciano on May 13, 1941, published by the State Department.
“The Duce noted… that Italy had connections with the Fakir of Ipi and by extensive use of money was attempting to induce him and the Grand Mufti to activity on the side of the Axis,” the memorandum stated. Mussolini pointed out that “the Grand Mufti had already summoned the Arabs of the world to a holy war against the English,” and said “he considered this action of considerable importance.”
Von Ribbentrop stated that Admiral Darlan, representing the Vichy Government, had agreed to deliver certain quantities of weapons and war materials to Iraq from supplies under Italian control in Syria. Mussolini emphasized the importance of helping Iraq in order to establish a new front against the English and arouse the sympathy not only of the Arabs but of the majority of Mohammedans.