Iran Denies Blair Iraq Charge

Published October 07, 2005

| Associated Press

Iran rejected Friday the accusations by British Prime Minister Tony Blair (search) that it was supplying Iraqi insurgents with bombs that have killed British troops.

"Iran has no motive for intervening in the domestic affairs of Iraq," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in a statement read on state television.

"The accusations are baseless. Blair is accusing others to cover up Britain's failure to provide security in Iraq," Asefi added.

Blair had accused Iran on Thursay of interfering in Iraq, saying that new explosive devices used "not just against British troops but elsewhere in Iraq ... lead us either to Iranian elements or to Hezbollah (search)," the Iranian-backed militant group in Lebanon.

Both the Iranian ambassador to London, Seyed Mohammad Hossein Adeli, and Hezbollah denied the allegation in separate statements.

A day earlier, a senior British official said there was evidence that Iran's Revolutionary Guard had given Iraqi insurgents armor-piercing bombs which had killed eight British troops since May.

Asefi said that the presence of British and other foreign forces in Iraq is the main reason for the insurgency and insecurity in the country. Iran's interests would be served by a stable and secure Iraq, the television quoted him as saying.

Iran, a Shiite Muslim (search) country, has close ties to Shiite militias that hold considerable power in southern Iraq, where the British troops are based. However, Iraqi Shiite politicians have denied that Iran is meddling in Iraq.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said his government hopes to discuss the allegations with Iran.

"We look to the Iranian government to sit down with us, hear what we have to say and take action where appropriate," Straw said Thursday.

Iranian TV made no mention Friday of future talks with Britain.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/10/07/iran-denies-blair-iraq-charge