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Iraqi Minister Warns Against Attack On Iran, Syria

23 February 205 -- Iraq's interim foreign minister said in remarks published today that any attack on neighboring Iran or Syria could destabilize Iraq, but added that there was no indication the United States would resort to force.

The minister, Hoshiyar Zebari, said it is in Iraq's interest that there not be any confrontation with its neighbors.

Zebari said Iraq would be affected by such developments while it faces the task of rebuilding the country.

He made the comments to the London-based "Asharq al-Awsat" newspaper.

U.S. President George W. Bush, currently in Europe where he is pressing trans-Atlantic allies to step up pressure on Iran and Syria, has said the idea he was preparing to strike Iran over its nuclear program was "ridiculous," but added that all options were open.

Bush has also pressed Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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