Rumsfeld insists: Iran allowing al-Qaeda to use its territory
Iran is allowing al-Qaeda to use its territory, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday. Asked at a Pentagon press conference how he interpreted the news that Iran handed over 16 suspects to Saudi Arabia, Rumsfeld said: "With respect to the terrorists that they say they have turned in, they've turned none in to us."
"They have permitted al-Qaeda to enter their country. They are permitting al-Qaeda to be present in their country today," Rumsfeld said. "And it may very well be that they, for whatever reason, have turned over some people to other countries, but they've not turned any to us.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami promised during a landmark visit to Kabul that Iran would arrest al-Qaeda militants and stay out of Afghanistan's internal affairs.
Rumsfeld said Khatami's visit to Afghanistan is "probably a useful thing."
"Obviously they're a big, important neighboring country to Afghanistan, and it's important that Afghanistan have a relationship with all its neighbors so that the government is able to go forward and strengthen itself and function as a government in the country," Rumsfeld said in answer to a question. "That's much easier to do if you have neighbors that are not unfriendly." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)