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Iranian FM criticizes Blair's statement on recent unrest in Iran

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, speaking in Tehran on Sunday, said that British Prime Minister Tony Blair should have differentiated between a student move and a turmoil which leads to destruction and insecurity in the society, IRNA reported.

Attending a joint press conference with his British counterpart Jack Straw, Kharrazi expressed his dissatisfaction with the remarks made by British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the recent unrest in Iran.

Last week, Blair, responding to an MP at the House of Commons, had uttered statements in support of the recent unrest in Tehran.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi last Tuesday characterized statements by Blair as 'irresponsible' and 'outside the norms of mutual understanding and respect'.

He added that such statements will only dilute bilateral ties and cause a stir in relations from which 'Britain will not benefit'.

Straw further said that British stand regarding freedom of demonstration is clear and that Blair supports rights of peaceful gatherings within the framework of the UN Charter.

Straw said that statements made by the British prime minister was not aimed at intervening in Iran's domestic affairs since issues regarding the Iranian government and system is solely the Iranian people's own affair to deal with.

The students unrest has caused no loss of life which indicates the capability of the Iranian police in controlling the unrest, Kharrazi said.

Currently only 50 university students are imprisoned and are under investigation, he said, adding that others, being arrested, are hooligans who have done destructive acts, and certainly the British officials do not approve their acts.

... Payvand News - 6/30/03 ... --

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