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Iran FM criticizes Britain for "subversive" stance

TEHRAN, Sept. 20 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has criticized the British government for taking a "subversive" stance in Tehran's nuclear standoff with the West.

In a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Margaret Becket in New York on Tuesday, Mottaki said, "The general understanding in Tehran is that the British government has consistently taken a subversive position on Iran's nuclear issue by following the United States and creating obstacles over the past few years."

Mottaki stressed the necessity for the two countries to clearly express their views on various issues of mutual interest.

He also criticized London's performance as the coordinator in fighting drug trafficking in Afghanistan, saying, "Regrettably, the production of drugs has increased by 60 percent in Afghanistan compared to last year."

Mottaki cited the foreign military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan as the main cause of insecurity and instability in the two countries.

He also upbraided the UK for the fact that British banks are being obstructionist and creating obstacles for Iranian companies, saying, "Such behavior will cause Iranian businessmen to look for more reliable options."

Becket replied, "I acknowledge that there is mistrust over Iran's nuclear dispute, but Britain seeks a negotiated solution to the issue through dialogue."

She dismissed the idea that the foreign troops in Iraq cause insecurity as just an excuse.

In addition, she called for further Iranian cooperation to fight drug production in Afghanistan.

Becket also urged Tehran to more actively cooperate in promoting security and stability in the Middle East in light of Iran's key role in the region.

... Payvand News - 9/21/06 ... --

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