Bloomberg: Prime Minister Tony Blair rejected Iranian claims that British soldiers were involved in two bombings that killed at least nine people in the city of Ahvaz, describing the accusation as “ludicrous.” Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Tony Blair rejected Iranian claims that British soldiers were involved in two bombings that killed at least nine people in the city of Ahvaz, describing the accusation as “ludicrous.”
“The Iranian government’s suggestion that we somehow had a hand in yesterday’s bomb explosions in southern Iran is obviously ludicrous and deserves to be treated with scorn by the international community,” Blair’s office said today in a statement read over the telephone.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said British soldiers equipped and directed the perpetrators of the two bombings, according to a report by the IRNA news agency. He said British forces had provided “safe haven” and “practical and extensive facilities” for the attacks.
Iran, the world’s fourth-biggest oil exporter, may be referred as early as next week by the United Nations nuclear watchdog to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions, following the country’s decision this month to resume research on the nuclear fuel cycle.
U.K. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Jan. 16 that Iran is failing to meet its responsibilities to the world over its nuclear program. Iran says the work is for the peaceful purpose of building atomic power plants.
The two bombs that went off yesterday in the oil-rich Iranian city killed at least nine people and wounded 45, the Tehran Times reported. The bombs exploded in the city’s commercial center, the newspaper said.
“Putting the blame on us underlines why there is such widespread international concern about this Iranian government,” said the statement from Blair’s office.