Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Xinhua - English

Xinhua - English: "Iran demands evidence on US accusation of interference in Iraq

www.chinaview.cn 2004-12-21 19:58:54

TEHRAN, Dec. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran Tuesday termed the United States accusation of Tehran's interference in Iraq's internal affairs as "spread of rumors", the official IRNA news agency reported Tuesday.

"We have always kept saying that the Americans must offer their evidence for their accusation of Iran's interference in Iraqi affairs. Surprisingly, their only valid proof is that Iran and Iraq are neighbors," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi was quoted as saying.

Asefi's comments came after the US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher on Monday expressed concerns over "Iran's interference in internal affairs of Iraq."

Asefi said that the US officials were accustomed to "attributing baseless charges to others through their tribunes".

"Despite all US charges against Iran and its interference, Tehran's principle policy towards Baghdad is to prevent involvement in Iraq's internal affairs and to assist restoration of security and stability in that country," Asefi added.

Iran has been closely watching the developments in its western neighbor since the downfall of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

However, the US and Iraq's interim government have repeatedly accused Iran of meddling in internal affairs of the war-torn country with its influence upon the Iraqi Shiite Muslims. Enditem"

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