Iran denies US claims over its sponsorship of terror

Tehran rejects US claims it supports Shia groups fighting in Iraq and Yemen and says it is victim of terrorism.

    Iran denies US claims over its sponsorship of terror
    Tehran has been accused of supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's embattled government [AP]

    Iran rejected on Saturday US claims that it was a sponsor of global terror attacks, saying instead it is a victim of terrorism.

    On Friday, the US State Department said the Islamic Republic "continued to sponsor global terror" attacks last year and supplied arms to the Syrian regime even though it was engaged in talks to rein in its nuclear programme.

    But Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said those accusations were "worthless."

    "For three decades, Iran has been the great victim of terrorism and considers international cooperation to combat terrorism a priority," she said, without elaborating.

    US counterterrorism envoy Tina Kaidanow, unveiling the 2014 Country Reports on Terrorism, said "Iran continued to sponsor terrorist groups around the world," adding that Washington remained very concerned by the activities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard "and its proxies."

    And she stressed that "we have sanctions in place against Iran specifically related to the terrorism issue. That's not going to change."

    Tehran increased its assistance to Shia groups fighting in Iraq and continued its long-standing military, intelligence and financial aid to Lebanon's Hezbollah, Syrian President Bashar Assad's embattled government and Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the report claimed.

    The study released on Friday said Iran has lived up to interim nuclear deals with world powers.

    Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Saturday he would meet next week with his Iranian counterpart Mohamed Javad Zarif as talks over Tehran's nuclear programme enter their final stretch.

    "We have until June 30 as a deadline for talks on Iran's nuclear programme. I would like to have a conversation to know where the Iranians are on this issue," Fabius told journalists in Cairo.

    "We are at a stage where we need the Iranians to tell us what they have in mind. We want an agreement, France wants an agreement, but I am saying that France wants a robust agreement that is verifiable." Fabius said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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