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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Kharrazi says Iran will not mediate between US, Iraqis

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, April 16, IRNA -- Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi here on 
Friday rejected as baseless speculations that Iran would mediate 
between the US and the Iraqis to resolve the crisis in the country. 
"How can one mediate between the Iraqi people and the occupiers?,"
Kharrazi stressed in a statement faxed to IRNA. 
"The legitimate demand of the Iraqi people is that occupation 
forces quickly withdraw troops from Iraq." 
Kharrazi had earlier on Wednesday announced that the US has asked 
Iran to help ease tension in Iraq, stressing that Tehran and 
Washington had "many correspondence" through the Swiss Embassy to that
effect. 
He had stressed that Iran would spare no effort to help improve 
the situation in Iraq. 
"The best thing that the occupation forces can do is transferring 
power to the Iraqi people as soon as possible," Iran`s foreign 
minister added in the statement. 
Kharrazi said Iran cannot be indifferent toward Iraq`s 
developments as well as the instability and the killings of the Iraqi 
people. 
Iran on Wednesday dispatched a diplomatic delegation to Baghdad to
find solutions to the critical situation in Iraq. 
The five-member delegation was headed by Foreign Ministry Director
General for Persian Gulf Affairs Hossein Sadeqi expected to meet with 
senior Iraqi religious authorities, members of the Governing Council 
and political leaders. 
Kharrazi said the delegation had been sent to Iraq at Iran`s 
initiative and was on a fact-finding mission to the country. 
He added that the delegation would debate the crisis with Iraq`s 
religious and political officials, and would also caution the 
coalition forces about continuing the occupation. 
Only hours after the delegation arrived in Baghdad, unknown 
assailants shot dead Khalil Na`imi, the first secretary of the 
Iranian Embassy in Iraq, outside the embassy compounds. 
This, however, failed to undermine the mission of Iran`s 
delegation after Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi told 
reporters that Sadeqi would stay in Iraq until a solution is found to 
resolve the crisis. 
AA/210 
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