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Iranian MPs approve fund to combat 'US plots'

Iranian parliament on Saturday approved the allocation of funds in the state budget for 'uncovering and defusing the plots of the US government against and its interference in Iran's internal affairs,' IRNA reported from Tehran.

The fund of 12.5 billion rials (roughly 1.5 million dollars at the speculative market rate) is also intended to 'file the Islamic Republic of Iran's legal actions against America at international tribunals', including those by the country's chemically-injured.

In writing the bill, the MPs also want the fund to be spent on 'enlightening public opinion within the country (Iran) and outside about America's cultural onslaught as well as its breach the UN Charter and Algeria Declaration'.

Tehran has repeatedly announced Washington foul of its obligations in the Algeria Declaration (1980) not to interfere in the country's internal affairs.

The fund is a countermeasure to the US House of Representatives' introduction and passage of the so-called 'Iran Freedom and Democratic Support Act' as well as the approval of a similar act by the US Senate.

The original Senate version of the bill included a provision to allocate dlrs 50 million to fund anti-government Iranian media outlets, particularly Los Angeles-based stations.

Washington cut ties with Tehran in 1980 in the wake of a hostage crisis after Iranian students stormed the US embassy in Tehran and arrested its staff.

Since then, the United States has taken an antagonistic stance against Iran, assisting the deposed regime of Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-imposed war between 1980 and 1988.

The Bush administration, which has tagged Iran part of an 'axis of evil', offered humanitarian aid to the victims of the December 26 Bam earthquake and dispatched an 80-member relief team and supplies like tents and blankets after receiving Iran's green light.

Bush also ordered a unilateral American sanctions against Iran to be temporarily waived in order to send any form of aid, including cash mostly by the large Iranian diaspora in the United States, to the victims of the Bam quake.

Iran, however, rejected an American proposal to send a delegation headed by top Senator Elizabeth Dole to Tehran to deliver American relief, saying 'the time is not right yet for such a visit'.

Iranian officials have stated that any fundamental change in US policies toward Iran will change the existing atmosphere of hostility between the two arch-foes.

... Payvand News - 2/28/04 ... --

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