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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran denies receiving `strong-worded` message from US: press

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, April 12, IRNA -- Iran has denied receiving a written message 
from the United States, allegedly warning Tehran against interfering 
in Iraq`s affairs, press reports said Monday. 
"Iran has not received any strong-worded letter, demanding that 
it give up interfering in Iraq`s internal affairs," newspapers on 
Monday quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi as saying. 
His statements came in reaction to reports published in several 
Arab newspapers, alleging that Washington had warned Tehran to steer 
clear of Iraq, which has seen an upsurge in violence in recent days. 
Top US officials have conceded that there was no evidence of 
the Islamic Republic`s involvement in any case of insurgency 
operations across Iraq. 
"We`ve seen, generally speaking, reports of suggestions of 
Iranian involvement, collusion, provocation, coordination, et cetera. 
But I think there`s a dearth of hard facts to back these things up," 
US State Department deputy spokesman Adam Erely has said. 
The official, quoted by American media, was commenting on reports 
that Iran was targeting provocative radio broadcasts at Iraqi 
insurgents. 
Iranian press on Monday also cited claims by Abu Dhabi television 
channel, alleging that Iran`s top diplomat in Iraq, Hassan Kazemi 
Qomi, had left Baghdad on the order of the interim Governing Council. 
"The provisional Governing Council of Iraq has asked Hassan 
Kazemi Qomi to leave the country for what has been described as 
his link to recent developments in Iraq," the press quoted the 
channel as saying. 
On Friday, Qomi dismissed as `rumours` reports that he had been 
expelled from Iraq. 
"It is wrong. I am here. I am working. It is only a rumour," AFP 
quoted Qomi as saying at the Iranian embassy in central Baghdad. 
BH/212 
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