News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIran calls on UK troops to pull out of...

Iran calls on UK troops to pull out of Basra

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Reuters: Iran’s foreign minister called on Britain on Friday to pull its troops out of the southern Iraqi city of Basra, saying their presence was destabilizing the city. BEIRUT (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister called on Britain on Friday to pull its troops out of the southern Iraqi city of Basra, saying their presence was destabilizing the city.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran demands the immediate withdrawal of British forces from Basra,” Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters through an interpreter during a visit to Lebanon.

“We believe that the presence of the British military forces in Basra has led to the destabilization of the security situation in the city,” he said, adding that the British presence had also negatively affected the security situation in southern Iran itself.

Mottaki was apparently referring to a spate of recent bomb attacks in southern Iran. Tehran has accused the British military in Iraq of cooperating with the bombers who killed eight people in attacks in January.

The minister also denounced what he said were human rights violations by the British forces in Basra.

Iran last month accused the British military in Iraq of cooperating with bombers who attacked targets in the Iranian oil city of Ahvaz, killing eight people.

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