Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Iran prepared to help stabilize Iraq: president

Description of Selected News: "Iran prepared to help stabilize Iraq: president

KHARTOUM (AFP) -- Iranian President Mohammed Khatami said on Wednesday that Islamic Republic stood ready to help neighboring Iraq as it struggles to retake rebel enclaves and restore government control nationwide.

"We are ready to help the Iraqi government restore internal security without interfering in Iraq's domestic affairs," Khatami told reporters at a news conference here, wrapping up a three-day visit to Sudan.

He added that a peaceful and stable Iraq would be in the interest of Iran and Iraq's other neighbors.

Khatami described the continued presence of U.S.-led troops in Iraq as an extension of the occupation formally wound up in June and called for the immediate holding of elections.

"The continued occupation and delayed elections are an insult to Iraq," he said, adding that the Iraqis were capable of managing their own affairs."

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