Iran Rejects CIA Claims of Iranian Connection to al-Qaeda Network
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamidreza Asefi rejected on Wednesday recent claims made by CIA Director George Tenet of a possible Iranian link to the Taliban or to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network, which Washington accuses of masterminding and carrying out the September 11 attacks.
Asefi said that the United States was trying "in vain" to cause rifts amongst political factions in Iran.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran's policy toward Taliban and al-Qaeda, as during the time when America played a role in their creation and supported them and as of now, has been the same," Asefi said.
"It is America which practices double standards and easily changes its policies according to its daily interests," he added.
In addition, Asefi said that Iranians would stand up against possible US threats to the country. "We will show in action, as we have done so in the past, that we have no difference in our approach toward American threats and protecting Iran's national interests," he said, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
On Tuesday, the CIA Chief said that, "it would be a mistake to dismiss the possibility of state sponsorship whether Iranian or Iraqi" of the September 11 hijacked attacks on the United States.
US President George W. Bush has accused Iran of being part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea in his January State of the Union address before Congress.
Washington alleges that Tehran is seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the interim Afghan government.
Both Iran and the Afghan interim government, headed by Hamid Karzai, have rejected these allegations. Iran, according to the News Agency, played a key role in ousting the Taliban in Afghanistan and has further announced its support for the interim Afghan government. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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