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US Terror Charges Against Iran Are Lies Claims Top Official

Iranian national security chief Ali Larijani stated that Iran has supported the democratic government in neighboring Iraq, and does not relish the prospect of an influx of Iraqi refugees fleeing instability to join the "some 500,000" already in Iran. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Jun 22, 2007
Iran rejected as "lies" Thursday US allegations that it is arming Shiite extremists in Iraq, and alleged that some NATO powers are supplying weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan. But Iranian national security chief Ali Larijani also said the Islamic republic was open to new negotiations with the United States over restoring stability to Iraq following landmark talks last month.

"We are an oppressed power in the region, and we are not pursuing adventurism," Larijani, who is also Iran's top nuclear negotiator, said in an interview with Newsweek magazine.

The Iranian official said his Shiite Islamic country was arming neither Iraqi militias nor the Sunni Muslim Taliban in Afghanistan.

"I think the Americans have embarked on a wrong course, and these lies are going to be disclosed sooner or later," Larijani said.

In neighboring Iraq, he said, Iran has supported the democratic government, and does not relish the prospect of an influx of Iraqi refugees fleeing instability to join the "some 500,000" already in Iran.

Asked about charges by US military and intelligence sources that Iran is supplying Iraqi insurgents with sophisticated bombs that can pierce heavy armor, he said: "They are lying.

"Please present this information to us. For all the terrors that are happening in Iraq, is there any evidence that would show or dictate that we have been involved in it?"

On a more conciliatory note, Larijani said that Iran was willing to explore new contacts with the United States over Iraq after the two arch-foes held their first high-level direct talks in 27 years in late May.

"We are serious in this matter, and we do find it quite useful for the security of the region," he said. Asked about any Iranian preconditions to new talks, he said: "No, we are fully ready for negotiations in this matter."

Larijani said the accusation of Iranian complicity with the Taliban, after Tehran had played a role in unseating the fundamentalist militia from power, was "100 percent lies."

"Some NATO members are supplying the Taliban behind the scenes in Afghanistan," the official added, declining to name them. "Americans are also aware of this, as is the government of Afghanistan."

The Taliban launched an insurgency soon after being removed from government in a US-led invasion in late 2001, and have stepped up attacks on NATO forces.

Larijani also denied that Iran has given armed support to the Palestinian movement Hamas, which has been ejected from government by president Mahmud Abbas following its seizure of the Gaza Strip in deadly fighting.

The Iranian official said that through supporting Abbas and trying to isolate Hamas, "the Americans are just placing themselves head-on with the Palestinian people."

"Have the Americans seen any miracle coming out of the support they have given to Abbas? We have always said that as a popular movement Hamas is supported by us," he said, while adding that that support is only financial.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Washington DC (UPI) Jun 22, 2007
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