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Iran accuses West of sponsoring terrorism

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (top row, center) and other world leaders stand for a family photo during the International

Source : Mitra Amiri | Reuters
TEHRAN : 25 Jun 2011

Iran, long labeled by the US as a supporter of terrorism, accused the West on Saturday of being the main sponsor of political violence against civilians.

Speaking during  the International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism in the Iranian capital, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told delegates who included the leaders of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan — the main battlefields for the US “war on terrorism” — that Washington, Israel and Europe were the worst culprits.

“It is unfortunate that I have to announce that the individuals and groups responsible for these (terrorist) incidents are supported by certain European governments and some American politicians,” Ahmadinejad said.

Tehran was turning the tables on accusations that Tehran supports militant groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, which are considered terrorist organizations by Israel and its Western allies.

In a message read out at the conference, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Washington had committed “terrorist behavior and financial and military support to organized terrorists” in the Middle East.

He said drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the downing of an Iranian civil airliner by a US warship in 1988 and the assassination of two Iranian nuclear scientists — for which no one has claimed responsibility — were incidents from a “shameful and unforgettable list” of US “terrorism.”

Washington has led a global diplomatic offensive to tighten sanctions on Iran which it believes is seeking nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies. The two countries have been enemies since the 1979 revolution, which overthrew the US-backed shah, and the subsequent occupation of the US embassy in Tehran.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who has backed Washington’s actions against militants in his country, echoed US rhetoric about a “war” on terrorism.

“Our forces are in the trenches, the very front line in the great battle of the 21st century. We are fighting a war that will determine not only the future of my country but the future of your countries and the entire world,” he told the meeting.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who received Iran’s defense minister on a landmark visit to Kabul last week in an ominous move for Washington which fears Tehran increasing its influence in the region, also addressed the meeting.

“Despite our attempts in the last 10 years to build the foundations of the country, not only has our country not achieved peace but terrorism is still a threat to Afghanistan and the region,” Karzai said.

In a private meeting on the sidelines of the conference, Khamenei told Karzai he believed Washington wanted a permanent military presence in Afghanistan. “As long as American soldiers are present in Afghanistan, real security will not be established,” he was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani reiterated a point made by all speakers, that Islam must not be perverted to justify “terrorism” and warned foreign countries against supporting groups like Al-Qaeda.

“There is a mistaken understanding in some regions that those believe themselves of the Islamic faith use Islam to further their evil aims, whereas Islam is about peace and must be used against the phenomenon of terrorism.

“This phenomenon nearly destroyed our country and those who are supported wither financially or otherwise by foreign countries are mistaken,” Talabani said.

 

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