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Homeland Security

Asefi rules out claims alleging Iran's involvement in Cairo blast

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, April 10, IRNA
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid- Reza Asefi Sunday ruled out claims that Tehran had been involved in recent Cairo market blast.

"I have not yet seen any statement revealing that Egyptian Interior Ministry had raised such a claim but if Egyptian government officials made any such claim, (I should say) it is in vain," said Asefi in his weekly press conference.

Asefi said, "There are requests in Egypt and people in the country have demands... Egyptian statesmen cannot remain indifferent to their country's public opinion by blaming others for and getting others involved in (their) domestic problems ... Egyptian government should pay attention to the views of its people."
A booby-trapped motorcycle blew up in Al-Moski bazaar in the Al-Azhar area of Islamic Cairo last Thursday, killing a French national and US citizen, leaving 18 people wounded.

The explosion -- the first such attack in the Egyptian capital in seven years -- rocked the country only six months after a deadly string of bombings by the Red Sea.

Asefi referred to Iran's position on the situation in Lebanon and the country's Hizbollah, saying, "We have good ties with the people, Hizbollah, and other groups in Lebanon and believe that calm and security in Lebanon and Syria serve calm and security in the entire Middle East region."
He said Tehran believes Hizbollah is a 'legitimate and legal' group in Lebanon with extensive popular base and none of the debates raised in certain Western states on Lebanese Hizbollah are at all in conformity with the existing realities in Lebanon.

He stressed, "We have announced repeatedly that the main problem in the Middle East is the policies of the Zionist regime; and the Zionist groups' decision to attack and invade al-Aqsa Mosque recall earlier crimes of the regime in setting al-Aqsa Mosque ablaze and we warn against this."
Asefi added that Qods is not an issue which related not just to Palestine and its people as well as the Arab states, but to the entire world of Islam and desecration of the holy site would entail grave consequences. He added that the international circles should show serious reaction against the issue.

He stressed that as long as the Zionist regime follows its destructive policies in the region, it will be wrong to shift the focus to other points from the Zionist regime.

On the UAE claim of ownership on the three Iranian islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Moussa, Asefi said there were minor differences on Abu Moussa which is solvable through negotiations.

"That's a bilateral issue concerning Iran and the UAE and is not the business of other states; and involvement of other states would not help the problem; and the ongoing misunderstanding is solvable on the basis of the 1971 memorandum of understanding and the islands do and continue to belong to Iran," added Asefi.

On election of the Iraqi president and prime minister and its impact on relations between Tehran and Baghdad, Asefi said problems between Iran and Iraq stemmed from wrong policies of Saddam and over the past two years, a positive spirit governs bilateral relations.

He said that of course, certain 'uncalculated' comments were raised in the period but those were of meager importance.

With the establishment of a government in Iraq and Iraqi people's ability to decide their fate, a new chapter will open in bilateral relations and brotherly relations between the two sides would be established in a very suitable way.

::IRNA No.040 10/04/2005 19:00 --End

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