Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi reiterated Saturday that his country would not participate in any anti-terrorism coalition led by the United States, calling for the battle to be spearheaded by the United Nations.
Kharazi was speaking to reporters on his arrival in Damascus for talks with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and Foreign Minister Farouq Al Shara.
The official Kuwaiti news agency (KUNA) reported that Kharrazi would deliver a message from President Mohammed Khatami to Assad, tackling coordination between the two countries' leaders on current regional and international developments.
"We are against terrorism and we will fight against terrorism, but we will not participate in the operations and the coalition led by the United States nor in the military component (of the operations) conducted by the United States against terrorism," he said, cited by AFP.
"Collective international action is needed in order to eradicate this phenomenon, and we think that an international consensus can only be reached under the direction of the United Nations."
Kharrazi will head for Beirut later in the day on a similar visit. Egypt will be the third leg of the minister’s tour.
In telephone talks with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Friday, Kharazi reiterated Tehran's request for the United Nations to "become the axis of the anti-terror fight so that the necessary unanimity for the campaign against this ominous phenomenon is achieved," the state news agency IRNA reported.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said Tehran would not "provide any help to America or its allies in their attack" against Afghanistan, state radio reported.
Repeating Iran's call for any global movement against terrorism to be led by the United Nations, Khamenei said that in this way "the United States and other powers cannot exercise influence on it" – Albawaba.com
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