AFP: Iran said on Saturday the United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq because their presence is causing “terrorist” activity in the war-torn country. SHUNEH, Jordan, May 19, 2007 (AFP) – Iran said on Saturday the United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq because their presence is causing “terrorist” activity in the war-torn country.
“We believe that sooner or later they have to decide to withdraw their troops from Iraq because that is the cause for the continuation of terrorist activities,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told participants in the World Economic Forum in the Middle East in Jordan.
He said that instability and the continuing occupation remain the two fundamental problems plaguing Iran’s neighbour, and added that a “comprehensive solution” should address both issues.
Mottaki’s remarks came as he addressed delegates in a session on stability in the broader Middle East, during the three-day gathering being held on the shores of the Dead Sea.
He shared a panel with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit, the Bahraini crown prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa and Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, former ambassador to the United States.
US and Iranian envoys are to meet in Baghdad on May 28 for talks on Iraq’s security in what is believed to be the first official talks at ambassador level between the arch-foes in three decades.
Both sides insist that the discussions will be limited to the security of Iraq.
Mottaki said on Friday the United States should admit to the “failure” of its Iraq policies during the expected meeting, in order for the talks to “progress and create hope.”
Washington accuses Shiite-majority Iran of stirring sectarian violence in Iraq. It also charges that Tehran is supplying Iraqi fighters with roadside bombs which have killed or maimed many US soldiers.
Iran denies the allegations and blames the US “occupiers” for the lack of security and instability of Iraq.