Iran News ...


Iran welcomes a UN-backed government in Iraq

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Tehran on Sunday that Iran would support a regime in Iraq to be elected by the people and come to office under the UN supervision, IRNA reported.

"Iran would welcome a government in Iraq which would observe good neighborly relations as well as laws and agreements existing between the two countries," he added.

"Such a government would be different from the one desired and imposed by the US," Kharrazi pointed out.

Turning to attacks by the coalition forces on holy cities in Iraq (Najaf and Karbala), he said this has prompted the concern of Muslims, the Shias in particular throughout the world.

"We have warned the belligerent forces in this respect," he added.

Kharrazi calls on belligerent parties to honor war conventions

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Sunday called on belligerent parties to honor the international conventions concerning war and not to do actions amounted to war crimes.

He told a press conference that the current war on Iraq takes large number of tolls from Iraqi civilians (women, children and the elderly) and Iran is worried about the ongoing human disaster in Iraq.

He said that Iran's opposition to Iraq war should not be interpreted as support for Iraq adding that Iran is neutral in the current hostility and only seeks an immediate end to the conflict.

Elsewhere in the press conference, Kharrazi said it goes without saying the US is pursuing Israeli agenda in the Middle East and that Israel dictates Washington what to do in the region.

"The US practices are in a way making it clear that Washington focuses on certain interests so that the American companies, on the other hand, have also certain demands from the US administration for financial considerations," Kharrazi said.

He said that prior anticipation of immediate success for Iraq war could not come true, indicating that to what extent both Washington and London are away from the realities in the Middle East.

"Both the US and Britain have fallen into a trap set by Israel. At present, they want to take one another accountable for the current bizarre situation," he said.

"Split has appeared within the coalition of two states. They accuse one another of miscalculation," Kharrazi said.

"The coalition forces anticipated that the Iraqi people would welcome them on the gateway of the cities, but, they have faced with suicide operations to repulse the invasion. It is accounted for a great defeat," he said.

Kharrazi said that the best solution to the crisis is that the United Nations undertake the matter and defend its damaged prestige with marathon diplomatic drive to stop the war.

Asked whether Iran may become the next target of the US attacks, Kharrazi said that the United States has a general plan for the entire region. The US wants to help Israel forge military and economic dominance over the Middle East.

But, the US makes many mistakes in its calculations about the Middle East, he said.

In response to a question about Iran's acceptance to sign the Additional Protocol the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which guarantees inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) without prior notice, Kharrazi said that Iran considers the matter, but, the IAEA should, in return, provide Iran with technical assistance on nuclear technology envisaged in its charter.

Kharrazi, Straw discuss Iraq war over phone

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi in a telephone conversation with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Sunday discussed the latest developments in Iraq.

According to the Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Bureau, Kharrazi voiced concern over the increase in the number of civilians casualties in Iraq and underlined the pivotal role of the United Nations to end the war. He added that increase in number of civilian casualties is not considered as a victory but it will be considered a human catastrophe instead and will raise the ire of the Islamic nations towards the occupation of Iraq by foreigners.

Underlining the significant attention paid by the Shiite Muslims on the sanctity of the holy places in Iraq, Kharrazi called for respecting and safeguarding these holy sites.

The Britain foreign secretary, for his part, underlined the need to safeguard the holy places in Iraq.

Iraqi citizens free to return home

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi Sunday said the return of Iraqi citizens residing in Iran to their home country was natural "provided that it would not be taken as intervention by Iran."

Addressing a news conference here, Kharrazi said, "No one can denounce travel to and from Iraq and the Iraqi people are free to return to their home country." However, he added, this depended on how and within what framework this would be done.

He further said that since the outset of the US-led war on Iraq, Iran along with other countries opposed to the war has done its best to avert war in line with its national interests.

Iran has called on the regional countries to hold a meeting to review ways to stop the war, the foreign minister noted. "To this effect, we have been in constant contact with various countries," Kharrazi said.

Tehran has been after making the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement more active in order to devise mechanisms to settle the Iraqi crisis.

"No country has yet forwarded a comprehensive plan which would determine the mechanisms to stop the war. This is due to the war conditions and is just natural," he said.

"It seems that as the war goes on, the problems facing the belligerent forces will prepare the political and psychological grounds and forge international understanding to stop the war," Kharrazi said.

No links between Iran, Badr Corps

The Islamic Republic on Sunday rejected recent charges by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that Iran's revolutionary guards have links with the Badr Corps affiliated to the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SAIRI).

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, addressing a press conference, described the charges as baseless, adding that the Badr Corps belongs to the Iraqi opponent groups and is independent in taking decisions.

"The Badr Corps has been in Iraq for a long time," he said.

Rumsfeld on Friday accused the Islamic Republic of allowing the Badr Corps to enter Iraq and start military actions, saying that this had been an interference in Iraq's internal affairs.

On the Iraqi crisis, Kharrazi said that the Islamic Republic has always announced its opposition to the military onslaught of the US and British forces against that country.

Kharrazi noted that "we had predicted that the Iraqi nation would not welcome aggressors," stressing that the US uses the Iraqi issue as a pretext to clear the way for full dominance of Israel over the region.

Iran warns against violation of its territorial integrity

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said here on Sunday that the Islamic Republic of Iran has warned the belligerent sides of the Iraq war against violation of the Iranian territorial integrity.

Addressing a press conference, he said a US missile hit the southwestern city of Abadan in the early days of the war. An Iraqi missile also hit the western Iranian city of Sardasht.

The war is taking place in the Iranian neighborhood and making mistakes in any war is inevitable, he added.

Tehran has voiced its protest to the both sides in writing and has warned them against the repetition of the incident, Kharrazi said.

The Iranian armed forces will take appropriate measures in due time towards any violation of the country's air space and the Islamic Republic's territorial integrity, Foreign Minister Kharrazi reiterated.

... Payvand News - 3/30/03 ... --

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