British FM Denies Conveying US Message to Tehran
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, on a groundbreaking visit to Iran, denied on Tuesday that he was carrying a message from the United States for Iran, saying that his visit was only for the purpose of "deepening positive understanding" between Tehran and London.
"I have not come here to pass on any request from the US nor military request," Straw told reporters when asked if Washington was inviting Iran to join an international anti-terror coalition, during a press conference held jointly with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi, according to the official Iranian news agency (IRNA).
But, he clarified, "I provided added background information revealing the extent of feelings in the United States born out of the scale of the atrocities as well as the prospect of military action against (the prime suspect in the US attacks) Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda (network)."
In an apparent move to assure Iranian officials of the necessity of a military retaliation, Straw told Kharrazi that Britain was prepared "to share what (evidence) it has confidentially."
But, he was quick to add, "I don’t think there is much serious doubt about the guilt of Osama bin Laden."
He then revealed another reason for his visit: "Iran is an important source of advice on Afghanistan."
The FM said he and Kharrazi had "discussed the approach needed to deal with terrorism and the need to reduce the environment in which terrorists operate."
Straw was the first high-ranking British official to visit Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 – Albawaba.com