Tehran dismisses Chalabi spying charges

Published May 23rd, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

Iran acknowledged Sunday it had a strong dialogue with embattled Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi, but rejected US accusations that he passed classified intelligence to Iran. 


Chalabi's long-standing contacts with Tehran have left some in the U.S. government suspicious about his intentions. Chalabi has denied allegations he handed over sensitive information to Iran about the U.S. occupation.  


His home and offices were raided by Iraqi police backed by U.S. soldiers on Friday. Chalabi has become a harsh critic of Washington's Iraq policies.  


"We had continuous and permanent dialogue with Chalabi and other members of the Iraqi Governing Council," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said at a press conference. "But spying charges are unfounded and baseless. It's not true at all."  


"We didn't receive any confidential information from Chalabi or any other member of the Iraqi Governing Council," Asefi said.  


American allegations against Chalabi, he said, were an attempt to shift attention from the scandal surrounding the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and Washington's increasing problems in Iraq.  


"To overshadow its increasing problems in Iraq and get rid of pressures resulting from the prisoner abuse scandal ... the U.S. is making false accusations," Asefi said.  


"In the past months, Americans have said many lies and failed to come up with evidence for their allegations," he said. (Albawaba.com)

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