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Iranian FM spokesman: Israel had hand in Soleimanpour's case

Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi stressed in Tehran on Sunday that the Zionist regime had a hand in the case of Hadi Soleimanpour, Iran's former ambassador to Argentina, IRNA reported.

Asefi, speaking at his weekly press conference with domestic and foreign reporters, said the performance of the Zionist regime showed it was behind Soleimanpour's case.

"We have announced from the beginning that the case of Iran's ex-envoy to Argentina reached this stage due to the performance of Argentine judicial system but Israeli's proposal to exchange Mr Soleimanpour was an indication of its complicity in the issue," Asefi said.

"The clumsy performance of the Zionist regime that has linked Soleimanpour's case to other issues showed it had a hand in this effect," he said, adding "Iran has nothing to do with Israeli war prisoners and the case of Soleimanpour is the issue of innocence of an Iranian citizen."

The FM spokesman expressed hope for immediate release of Soleimanpour who was arrested on a warrant issued by an Argentine judge on August 21, at his home in Durham, north east England, where he has been studying a Ph.D for the past two years. Asked about the accusations leveled by Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Baghdad, on infiltration of Iraqi dissidents to Iraq through the Iranian territory, Asefi said the US makes such accusations to escape from its continuous setbacks in Iraq by putting the blame on others.

"Such remarks are unjustifiable since Iran has positive and constructive cooperation with the Iraqi board of governors," he said. "Iran is very serious in fighting against terrorism and would deal with any extremist group in this regard."

Pointing to the British government's demand from Iran to participate in the reconstruction of Iraq, the spokesman said, "In (Foreign Minister) Kamal Kharrazi's meetings with his counterparts, various countries welcomed Iran's participation in projects including road-building and construction of electricity networks in that country."

"Iran is interested in stability and security in Iraq and considers it as its own stability and security and will fully support the Iraqi nation," he further stated.

... Payvand News - 9/28/03 ... --

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