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Iran's Defense Minister hits back at Gates for his remarks about Iran's role in Iraq

Mostafa Mohammad Najjar
(file photo)

TEHRAN, Apr. 15 (Mehr News Agency) - Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar here on Tuesday derided U.S. defense secretary's statement about Iran's role in Iraq, saying Tehran has always been seeking to help establish peace and security in Iraq and support its elected government.

"If the Islamic Republic's role in Iraq is evil, then why does the United States repeatedly request to hold talks with Iran (on Iraq)?" Najjar said in response to Robert Gates who on Friday accused Iran of playing a negative role in Iraq.

"Gates... should better announce a timetable for withdrawing their occupation and plundering forces from Iraq," he noted.

Iran is among the few regional countries that have established "good and high-level relations" with Iraq and the U.S. is trying to harm this strong relationship, he insisted.

In order to justify the massacre of the Iraqi people and its "costly and damaging presence" in the country the White House is trying to create an "imaginary enemy and make Iraq insecure," he said.

Tension and conflict is not to the interest of any of Iraq's neighbors and only the U.S. and its allies benefit from the violence and insecurity in the country, he stated.

... Payvand News - 04/15/08 ... --

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