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Iranian Officials Discuss Iraq, Nuclear Activities

22 April 2004 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said yesterday that instability in Iraq is a threat to Iran's security and his country wants to help the upcoming transfer of power in Iraq to succeed.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami cautioned the United States against attacks on the holy Shi'a cities of Al-Najaf and Karbala in southern Iraq, according to Iranian state television. Khatami said that "such an attack would be tantamount to committing suicide for the U.S.-led coalition and would provoke fury within the Shi'a world against the coalition."

Kharrazi made his statement after talks with French President Jacques Chirac during an official visit to Paris. The Iranian foreign minister later pledged his country's cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), saying Tehran will submit a new report on its use of nuclear technology by mid-May.

The last such report, submitted in October, was subsequently dismissed by the UN's nuclear watchdog as having failed to disclose key activities that could be aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

U.S. President George W. Bush said yesterday that the development of a nuclear weapon by Iran would be "intolerable."


Copyright (c) 2004. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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