Iran General NewsIranian FM may boycott Iraq conference in Amman

Iranian FM may boycott Iraq conference in Amman

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AFP: Iran said Sunday that Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi might boycott a meeting of Iraq’s neighbors in Amman next after the Jordanian king charged that Tehran was meddling in Iraq’s affairs. “It is possible that he might not take part (in the January 15 meeting),” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters, adding that Iran would be reviewing its level of participation. AFP

TEHRAN – Iran said Sunday that Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi might boycott a meeting of Iraq’s neighbors in Amman next after the Jordanian king charged that Tehran was meddling in Iraq’s affairs.

“It is possible that he might not take part (in the January 15 meeting),” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters, adding that Iran would be reviewing its level of participation.

Asked for a reason for the possible boycott, Asefi said: “By reviewing the issues in the past weeks you will be able to come up with your own conclusion.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah II earlier this month accused Iran of trying to influence the January 30 Iraqi elections in a bid to create a “crescent” dominated by Shiites extending from Iraq to Lebanon.

“It is in Iran’s vested interest to have an Islamic republic of Iraq… and therefore the involvement you’re getting by the Iranians is to achieve a government that is very pro-Iran,” he told the Washington Post on December 8.

Iran has constantly rejected allegations made by US and Iraqi leaders that it is meddling in Iraq, where the majority of the country’s population share the Islamic republic’s Shiite Muslim faith.

Relations between Tehran and Amman are often rocky. Diplomatic ties were broken for nearly a decade because of Jordan’s pro-Iraqi stance under the late King Huseein during the Iran-Iraq war from 1980-1988.

Relations were restored in 1991 and improved when King Abdullah took the throne in 1999 but hit a bad patch in 2002 over accusations Iran was violating Jordan’s security. However King Abdullah made a landmark visit to Iran in September 2003.

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