NewsSpecial WireAnnan cancels controversial trip to Iran

Annan cancels controversial trip to Iran

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Nov. 04 – United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has cancelled his planned trip to Iran which was scheduled to take place next week, a state-owned Iranian news agency announced on Friday. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 04 – United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has cancelled his planned trip to Iran which was scheduled to take place next week, a state-owned Iranian news agency announced on Friday.

The report quoted an unnamed official in Iran’s Foreign Ministry as saying that Tehran had officially asked Annan to postpone his trip.

It said that Tehran had made the request to decrease international pressure on the UN chief regarding his agenda for the Middle East.

In New York, a spokesman for Kofi Annan confirmed the report.

“The secretary general and the Iranian government have mutually agreed that this is not an appropriate time for him to travel to Iran”, said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

“In light of the ongoing controversy, it would have been difficult to advance the agenda that he had wanted to discuss with the Iranian leadership”.

Annan had been under pressure from Western governments, political figures, non-governmental organisations, and Iranian exiles to cancel his trip to Tehran on the grounds that it would give legitimacy to the theocratic regime in the wake of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s call to “wipe Israel off the map”.

Annan leaves this weekend for a tour that would have taken him to Iran from November 11 to November 13.

He will now go to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Pakistan. Annan is travelling through Paris, where he is scheduled to meet with President Jacques Chirac on Monday, the spokesman said in a statement.

A week ago, Annan expressed dismay about remarks made by Iran’s hard-line president.

The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran had called on the UN chief to put off his trip and instead take the initiative for the adoption of a decisive policy against Tehran.

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