Iranian FM lashes out at Washington over terrorism

Date: 02-24-06

BANGKOK (AFP) - Iran's foreign minister denounced the United States for creating terror groups like Al-Qaeda and reaffirmed Tehran's support for a united Iraq following escalating violence there between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

Manouchehr Mottaki, reacting to Wednesday's bombing of a key Shiite mosque in the Iraqi city of Samarra, said "some hands" were working to stoke ethnic and religious unrest "not only in Iraq but in the Islamic world".

"We believe that there are some hands working to create ethnic war, religious war, between Shiite, Sunnis or any other groups," he said without naming any specific groups or countries.

Mottaki condemned the surge in sectarian killings in Iraq where at least 140 people have been killed in recent days sparked by the bombing of the mosque.

"Everybody's sorry in Iran, very sad (about) what is happening," Mottaki said at a press conference in Bangkok.

Mottaki also sharply criticised the United States for its role in the current global terrorism crisis, suggesting that it had a hand in creating today's extremists with its cold war support of militant Muslim groups.

"Unfortunately, our region is affected by terrorist groups like the Taliban, like Al-Qaeda, but the main question is, who was the cause of the establishment of such groups in our region?" he said.

"They have offered specifically, the United States, all their support, and then they have started to fight with them."



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