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Iran Denounces Blair Comments As Insolent

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Feb 8, 2007
Iran on Thursday denounced as "insolent" comments by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that there is growing alarm at Tehran's defiance of the international community on its nuclear programme. "The insolent and diplomatically uncommon comments by Mr Blair emanate from extreme notions and (are) ethically worthless," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said in a statement.

"In passing anti-Iranian resolutions, Britain had a destructive role aimed at failing the negotiations and attracting the other Europeans to its side," he added, in reference to Iran's nuclear negotiation with the EU-3 (France, Britain and Germany) in the past three years.

"The British prime minister following the US and with the Zionist regime's participation has imposed three wars on the people of the Middle East which resulted in increase of insecurity, terrorism and killing of tens of innocent people a day," Hosseini said.

On Tuesday, Blair appearing in front of a parliamentary committee said that if the Islamic republic were to cooperate with the West in terms of curbing its nuclear plans, "a whole series of doors would open up to them."

"But it is important that Iran understands that at the moment it is doing two groups of things that are really unsettling the international community," Blair said.

He cited firstly the development of "nuclear weapons capability" and secondly accused Iranians of "deliberately fomenting sectarianism and conflict (in the region) when they should be responsibly backing, again, the will of the international community."

earlier related report
Britain could be paralyzed by bioweapons, radioactive attack
London (AFP) Feb 09 - The devastating impact of a terrorist attack in Britain using bioweapons or radioactivity could be further amplified by the panicked reaction and "alarmist media," a leading think-tank warned Thursday.

To counter this, authorities should provide calmly-presented information about possible scenarios before any attacks take place, said Paul Cornish, head of London-based Chatham House's international security programme.

His report looked at the threat from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons here and said they could be used by extremist groups "from the largest to the smallest... from the poorest to the best funded."

"A good deal of the effect of a terrorist attack in the United Kingdom using CBRN could prove to be self-inflicted by the victims of the attack -- the general public, business leaders, and government officials -- or magnified by alarmist media," Cornish wrote.

"The United Kingdom might prove to be rather brittle in the face of a CBRN attack...and it seems reasonable to assume that terrorists might hope for such brittleness in order to expand the effect of their attack."

The findings come after Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, head of the MI5 domestic intelligence agency, warned in November that her agents were investigating nearly 30 terror plots and tracking over 1,600 suspects.

She also stressed that future terror attacks could involve chemical, bacteriological, radioactive and nuclear material.

Cornish echoed this view, writing that "a highly committed terrorist group" might have uncomplicated aims and view the risks of using CBRN as relatively low.

"The desired 'effect' might be no more than some hundreds or thousands of deaths or the destruction of a few buildings, all of which would be magnified by the terrorists' 'propaganda of the deed,'" he added.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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