Iran rejects US accusation

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Friday rejected a United States accusation that al Qaeda members in Iran played a role in the 12 May suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia.


    Saudi blasts: Iran indignant


    Kharrazi said Iran had arrested hundreds of al Qaeda suspects since the US-led war in Afghanistan and detained another group before the Riyadh attacks.


    The recent arrests were made before the Riyadh explosions. Therefore the accusations that the explosions were controlled and planned from Iran are totally baseless, Kharrazi told a news conference.


    The minister said there was no way in which prisoners could control a military mission. They are under tight control and have no contact with the outside world, he said.


    Iran has said it has not been able to determine whether the al Qaeda suspects in its custody hold senior ranks in Osama bin Laden's network.


    Kharrazi said that if any country had information about other al Qaeda members in Iran they should inform Tehran, which would act quickly to arrest them.


    "We are fulfilling our duties. It is the others who should fulfill their duties," he said.


    Key role?


    Quoting intelligence reports, US officials have said that senior al Qaeda members in Iran had played a role in the Saudi Arabia attacks this month. Thirty four people, including eight US citizens, were killed. 


    Iran has accused Washington of double standards in the war on “terror”. Tehran says the US has not dealt firmly with the Iraq-based People's Mujahideen, Iran's chief armed opposition threat. This despite the fact that the group is listed as a “terrorist organization” by the US state department.


    The US, which broke ties with Tehran shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution, has stepped up pressure on Iran in recent weeks, accusing it of building nuclear weapons and meddling in Iraq. Iran denies the charges.


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