A group of extremist Saudi muftis this week issued fatwas calling for the destruction of the most important Shiite shrines and mosques in Iraq. Ayatollahs in Iran, a largely Shiite country, were outraged, and the Iranian government made a formal complaint to the Saudis. The fatwas could cause a schism in the Islamic world, said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini. Iranian newspaper commentators said the muftis were playing into the hands of the arrogant powersthe U.S. and E.U.by sowing discord among Muslims. The hard-line Iranian newspaper Jomhuri-ye Eslami even called for the Saudi government to excise the malignant tumor of Wahhabism from Saudi society. The Saudi muftis who gave the fatwas belong to the Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam.