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Payvand Iran News ...
12/24/04 Bookmark and Share
Rafsanjani strongly rejects Iran's meddling in Iraq affairs
Tehran, Dec 24, IRNA -- Chairman of the Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday strongly rejected charges that Iran is meddling in Iraq's internal affairs, and termed remarks to that effect as "the most absurd".

Rafsanjani, in a sermon at Tehran Friday prayers, said the remarks that Iran is seeking intervention in Iraq are propagated by the "mercenaries and affiliates" of the US, adding that this is a "historic atrocity" against Iran.

He said those who raise such comments are themselves 'US appointees,' but accuse Iranian pilgrims who have risked their life to visit Iraq's holy sites of false charges.

Rafsanjani recalled the issue of elections in Iraq and the occupied territories of Palestine, and regretted that there are evil elements that are trying to prevent people in those countries achieve their rights.

"Secret hands are trying to stop Iraqi elections. And because they know holding elections is the demand of the people, particularly the Shiites, they do evil things in Karbala and Najaf; the things that saddens every oppressed," he told worshipers at Tehran University campus.

"Of course, doing these evil things shows that they have been disappointed."

Rafsanjani said nobody inside Iran tells the Iraqi people to vote for any specific group, stressing that Iran always advises all nations to participate in the elections to promote their self-determination.

"That they accuse Iran of interfering in Iraq for this encouragement is merely the propaganda of the US," he said.

Rafsanjani's remarks that Iran is not interfering in Iraq's internal affairs closely follow those by Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi that such charges suit the US that has invaded the country.

Kharrazi told reporters upon arrival in Beirut airport that there is a certain level of affinity between the Iranian and the Iraqi people which stems in their mutual bonds.

However, he stressed, this should never be translated as Iran's interference in Iraq.

Kharrazi reiterated Iran's urge on all ethnic groups and religions to strongly participate in the next month elections in Iraq, stressing that the Iraqis should indicate that they are a strong and mature nation and can control the affairs of their country.

Kharrazi says Iran not interfering in Iraq's internal affairs

Beirut, Dec 24, IRNA -- Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi here on Thursday rejected that Iran is seeking interference in Iraq's internal affairs, stressing that such charges suit the US which has invaded the country.

Kharrazi told reporters upon arrival in Beirut airport that there is a certain level of affinity between the Iranian and the Iraqi people which stems in their mutual bonds. However, he stressed, this should never be translated as Iran's interference in Iraq.

Kharrazi expressed hope that people from all ethnicities and religions strongly participate in the next month elections in Iraq.

He added that the Iraqis should indicate that they are a strong and mature nation and can control the affairs of their country.

On the reason of his visit to Damascus and Beirut, Kharrazi said that foreign ministers should always be prepared to consult with each other, adding that he was visiting Syria and Lebanon to consult with the officials of those countries.

"Regional developments are so much and happen so fast that we will have to get into regular contacts with each other," he said adding that all countries should consult with each other for discussing the issues of the Middle East and Iraq.

In a response to a question about US threats against Iran, Kharrazi said such threats are nothing new adding that nobody will take these threats seriously.

The Iranian foreign minister, heading a delegation, arrived in Beirut on Thursday night.

... Payvand News - 12/24/04 ... --


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