Monday, January 24, 2005

Malaysia warns US against attacking Iran :

Malaysia warns US against attacking Iran : "Malaysia warns US against attacking Iran

Agence France-Presse
Kuala Lumpur, January 23, 2005|14:30 IST
Malaysia, which chairs the world's biggest grouping of Muslim countries, has warned the United States that an attack on Iran would be of "great concern" to the Islamic world.

Defence Minister Najib Razak, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, was reacting to a statement by US President George W Bush last week that he could not rule out using force, if Tehran failed to rein in its nuclear plans.

The US would have to produce "irrefutable" evidence of Iran's nuclear weapons capabilities to avoid making the same mistake it made over Iraq, Najib said in remarks published in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

"I don't know the basis of President Bush's statement but his last allegation (that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction) has proven to be baseless," Najib was quoted as saying by local media.

Both Iran and Iraq are members of the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), of which Malaysia is the current Chairman.

"We do not know what kind of information they have regarding Iran's nuclear capabilities, but I think what the world wants is hard and irrefutable evidence, if at all, Iran is a threat to the world," he said.

"I don't think that anyone is convinced at this stage that Iran is a threat."

Malaysia strongly opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq, and Najib said any attack on another Islamic country would be of great concern to Muslim nations and the world.

"What is important is the sovereignty of the country concerned and the fact that there are international laws to be considered under the United Nations charter."

Iran, which denies wishing to acquire a bomb, in November announced the suspension of its nuclear enrichment programme following protracted talks with Britain, France and Germany.

In mid-December, the three countries again took up talks with Tehran to try to conclude a long-term deal, whereby the Iranians would definitively give up any ambitions of producing a nuclear weapon"


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