IRAN: Denying U.S. allegations about Iraq
The office of Iran's representative to the United Nations issued a rare statement Thursday condemning attempts by American officials to depict the Islamic Republic as a spoiler in Iraq.
The letter, dated April 17, was sent to media outlets.
It opens by decrying "the unabated continuation of the use of false pretexts by various senior officials of the United States to make unfounded allegations against the Islamic Republic of Iran with regard to Iraq.
That's a reference to recent congressional appearances by Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the top U.S. military and political officials in Baghdad, as well as statements by President Bush.
Below is the rest of the letter:
Undoubtedly, as an immediate neighbor, Iran stands to highly benefit from stability, security and prosperity in Iraq, as it will immensely suffer from insecurity and instability in that country. Iran's best interest lies in a democratic and prosperous Iraq at peace with itself and with its neighbors. Therefore, we reject the baseless allegations that have been made against Iran by U.S. officials with regard to Iraq. There have never been any evidences presented by the U.S. officials to corroborate such allegations....
Iran's support to the Iraqi political process and its efforts to assist Iraqis in their quest for peace, national harmony and reconstruction has been unabated and will remain unreserved. Iran has taken various concrete steps to help the Iraqi Government to bring about stability and development to the country, and has been unequivocal in both its strong support for stability and national unity in Iraq and in its condemnation of any efforts to cause instability, insecurity and sectarian violence and terrorism in the country.
Iran has strongly condemned the attacks on the Green Zone where the Iraqi government's offices and diplomatic missions are located, as it has condemned the attacks on residential areas in Iraq, including those in Sadr city and Basra.
Therefore, the said allegations are but futile efforts to distract the international community's attention, along with that of the US public opinion, from the real causes for the problems facing the US in Iraq that is continuation of foreign occupation and certain wrong policies and practices on the part of the occupying forces.
—Borzou Daragahi in Beirut
Photo: Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee, Iran's envoy to the United Nations, presents U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a handwoven Iranian rug with his portrait. Credit: Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
P.S. The Los Angeles Times issues a free daily newsletter with the latest headlines from the Middle East, the war in Iraq and the confrontation between the West and Islam. You can subscribe by registering at the website here, logging in here and clicking on the World: Mideast newsletter box here.