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Iran refutes Powell's anti-Iran statement at Jewish lobby confab

Iran's Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said on Monday that the anti-Iran overture of the US officials emanated from Washington's failure in its military scenario in Iraq, IRNA reported from Tehran.

He told IRNA that the US officials have embarked on propaganda campaign against Iran to mislead the public opinion and overshadow the bizarre situation Washington has faced.

Addressing the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Powell said that the United States was monitoring "states that do not follow acceptable pattern of behavior."

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Sunday that the US and Britain have fallen in the trap set by Israel with systematic misinformation about realities in the region.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Friday accused Iran of allowing hundreds of Iran-based fighters of Iraq's Shia Muslim opposition to cross the Iraqi border in defiance of US calls for them to stay out.

Kharrazi said Iran has banned movement of the fighters organized by the Supreme Assembly for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI).

"Such baseless statements being made by the US officials against Iran cannot have any impact on the world public opinion," Ramezanzadeh said.

Powell told the conference attended by Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, "It is time for the international community to stand up and insist that Iran end its support for terrorism. Tehran must stop pursuing weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them."

Ramezanzadeh categorically dismissed the charges and said that he thinks Powell will withdraw its anti-Iran charges soon after a while.

"He made the statement in presence of Israeli foreign minister to satisfy the powerful Jewish lobby group in the United States. I think he will withdraw his accusations soon after a while," Ramezanzadeh said.

... Payvand News - 3/31/03 ... --

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