Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi reiterated Saturday that his country will 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 here for talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara.
"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.
"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."
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.
And 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 that 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” -- DAMASCUS (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )