News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIran is playing 'positive role' in Iraq: Kharazi

Iran is playing ‘positive role’ in Iraq: Kharazi

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AFP: Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi dismissed on Saturday fresh allegations of interference in neighbouring Iraq, asserting that the Islamic republic was playing a “positive role” and not fuelling unrest. “Iran is playing a positive role in Iraq, and if anyone thinks that Iran is interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs they had better show their evidence,” Kharazi said in a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing. AFP

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi dismissed on Saturday fresh allegations of interference in neighbouring Iraq, asserting that the Islamic republic was playing a “positive role” and not fuelling unrest.

“Iran is playing a positive role in Iraq, and if anyone thinks that Iran is interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs they had better show their evidence,” Kharazi said in a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing.

Kharazi said Tehran had “close relations” with both the “Iraqi people and the government”, and said Iran was hoping “the interim government of Iraq will succeed in holding elections on time”.

Kharazi’s comments came after Iraqi interim prime minister Iyad Allawi urged the European Union Friday to use its influence with Syria and Iran to stop them from “fuelling violence” in his country.

“We need your help in persuading Iraq’s neighbours that fuelling violence in Iraq will only damage their own security in the long term,” he told EU leaders in a speech made available to the press.

“I hope that the European Union will use its relations with Syria and Iran to deliver that message in the clearest terms,” he said during his lunch meeting with the EU leaders at a summit here.

Iraqi president Ghazi al-Yawar has also accused Iran of orchestrating attacks in southern Iraq and being “behind the assassination of more than 18 Iraqi intelligence officers”.

The United States and a string of Iraqi officials have repeatedly accused Iran of meddling, notably by backing Shiite Muslim militants battling the occupation.

Iran has denied all allegations of interfering.

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