AFP: Britain’s charge d’affaires to Iran was summoned to the Iranian foreign ministry Monday to hear a complaint over British allegations that Iran is meddling in Iraq, the official news agency IRNA said. AFP
TEHRAN – Britain’s charge d’affaires to Iran was summoned to the Iranian foreign ministry Monday to hear a complaint over British allegations that Iran is meddling in Iraq, the official news agency IRNA said.
“After the absurd and baseless statements against Iran by British officials, Britain’s charge d’affaires, in the absence of the ambassador, was summoned to give explanations and to receive an official protest,” a foreign ministry statement said.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other senior officials said last week there was evidence that a series of deadly attacks in southern Iraq lead back to Iran and the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
“What we have presented to the Iranians is evidence which, in our judgement, clearly links the improvised explosive devices which have been used against British and other troops, mainly in the south of Iraq, to Hezbollah and to Iran,” British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Sunday.
Iran and Britain are locked in an escalating war of words, trading accusations that each side is backing terrorists and with London also playing a central role in Western efforts to pressure the Islamic regime into restricting its nuclear activities.
Iran’s hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said Sunday he suspected British involvement in a double bomb attack Saturday in the southwest of the Islamic republic that killed six and injured over 100.
He said “Iran’s security and intelligence officials have come across British footprints” in past attacks in the southwestern oil-rich and ethnic-Arab dominated province of Khuzestan, situated adjacent to British-occupied southern Iraq.
The foreign ministry statement suggested those allegations were not repeated to Britain’s charge d’affaires, who was quoted as repeating the British government’s condemnation of the Ahvaz bombing.