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. Nobody planning to attack Iran, says Blair
LONDON (AFP) Mar 22, 2005
Nobody is planning military action against Iran over its nuclear programme "at the moment," British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in an interview with a Muslim magazine, adding "Iran is not Iraq".

"I don't know of anybody planning military action against Iran," Blair said in the latest issue of the British monthly Muslim News, due to hit news-stands on Friday.

"France, Germany and the UK are working together, backed by America, to get the Iranians to understand their obligations under the Atomic Energy Authority rules," said Blair.

"Let's just pursue the diplomatic path for the moment. No-one is talking about anything else at the moment," he added.

The United States and Europe are exerting growing pressure on Iran to guarantee that it will not use its atomic energy programme to acquire nuclear weapons.

Blair told the monthly on March 1 that there was a concerted effort by European countries to end the standoff.

Blair had told parliament last month, "We obviously do want to make sure we can get a diplomatic resolution to the issue of Iran as President (George W.) Bush made clear over the past few days."

"There are genuine concerns... in respect to Iran and the development of nuclear capability, Iran and the sponsorship of terrorism, Iran in relation to human rights issues," he had said.

In the interview Blair also called on Muslim voters, who traditionally vote for his Labour Party but who may have been alienated by its support for the US-led invasion of Iraq, to recognize Labour's position on Muslim schools and religious hate crimes.

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