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FM: Al-Qaeda threats against Iran has no link to Saddam's capture

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Tehran on Wednesday that the threats of Al-Qaeda against Iran has nothing to do with the arrest of Saddam Hussein, IRNA reported.

While leaving the cabinet meeting, Kharrazi denounced the news disseminated by the media on the link between Saddam Hussein's capture and Al-Qaeda's anti-Iran threats.

The official further noted that given Iran has been constantly threatened by the terrorists and Al-Qaeda in the past, there is nothing new about it.

In response to a reporter's question on reasons for tightening security arrangements at a number of foreign embassies in Iran, he referred to the news and reports of possible terrorist operations on the occasion of the New Christian Year, particularly teh reports released by the Americans, and said it was Iran's responsibility to take added security measures at the embassies which are prone to such attacks.

He noted that the steps taken are merely precautionary. Concerning the recent threats by the Zionist regime's Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, against Iran, he said that Israel's constant threats against Iran are mostly propaganda, adding that the Israelis themselves are well aware that they are not in a position to take military operations against Iran. "I believe that they are reasonable enough to avoid taking such a measure," he noted.

Turning to the latest position of the German and Irish hostages, he said, "The ministries of information and interior as well as the police are investigating the case and have managed to come up with some traces. We hope the problem will be settled soon."

Kharrazi pointed to the US support of Saddam's regime during the war imposed by Iraq against Iran and noted that the Americans who supported Saddam during the anti-Iran war must provide explanations in this respect.

"The case must be examined if a court proceeding is arranged on the issue," he added.

The official confirmed the replacement of Iran's permanent envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and said that given his four-year term has expired, Ali-Akbar Salehi has now been appointed as his advisor for international and nuclear affairs.

"Iran's Ambassador to Vienna, Pirouz Hosseini, has been introduced to take office as Iran's representative to IAEA," he concluded.

... Payvand News - 12/24/03 ... --

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