Powell: Iran's Efforts Against Terrorism Not Sufficient; Kharrazi: American Policy Weakens U.N.
On Monday, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell called upon Iran to do more to promote stability in Central Asia and stated that Tehran was not doing enough to stop terrorism, a Japanese official said, according to AFP.
Powell held talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi following a summit meeting between Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and U.S. President George W. Bush.
Powell told Kawaguchi that Iran's efforts against terrorism, smuggling and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction were not enough, a Japanese foreign ministry official said.
The Secretary of State said that the Islamic Republic had played an active role in Afghan rebuilding meetings in Bonn and Tokyo, but could do more to promote stability in the region, the official said.
Bush has signaled out Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, as part of an "axis of evil" that allegedly supports terrorism and develops weapons of mass destruction, in his State of the Union address last month.
Tokyo has maintained friendly relations with Iran. Bush said in Tokyo earlier Monday that he hoped to use peaceful means to prevent the three countries from acquiring weapons of mass destruction or providing them to terrorists.
However, he warned, "I will keep all options on the table". Kawaguchi told Powell that Tokyo would continue to back Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's reform and maintain dialogue with Tehran, the official said.
Powell also said that Bush's inclusion of North Korea in the "axis of evil" was not intended to spark a dispute with Pyongyang and restated that Washington was still ready to renew dialogue with North Korea without any conditions, the official added.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Monday that United States decisions following the September 11 attacks have increasingly been arrived at unilaterally.
Addressing domestic and foreign journalists, he stressed that Washington is pursuing such attitude in decision-making in order to weaken the role of the United Nations (UN) and certain states that look for a consensus in decision-making and thereby impose its will.
"While US President George W Bush talks of a coalition for war, President of the Islamic Republic Mohammad Khatami talks about a coalition for peace," he added.
Asked why the US president has made an affront to the Iranian nation by calling Iran as a nation with "dark history and ugly past"? Kharrazi responded, "We never describe the American nation with such nomenclatures and the Iranian president always addresses with the Americans as 'the honorable American nation'. The main question is how Mr. Bush dares to insult the great Iranian nation?"
"The dark history and the ugly past concern what the United States has committed in Vietnam and Latin America and what the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has done in history, and the same continues with support for the brutality of the Zionist regime against the defenseless civilians in Palestine," he said.
Answering a question about possible infiltration of al-Qaeda members into Iran, Kharrazi said perhaps some elements have infiltrated into Iran from Afghanistan and Pakistan even though Iran has already reinforced border control in the area which led to the return home of those foreign nationals who had arrived in Iran with valid visas en route to Afghanistan.
"We have not identified any al-Qaeda elements from among those arrested. They included 40 women, 70-80 children and several men who have come from Europe and North Africa. The respective embassies in Tehran have been informed about them," he was quoted as saying by IRNA. (Albawaba.com)
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