No Al-Qaeda members in Iran, Tehran says

December 29, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN - The Iranian Foreign Ministry has rejected reports by certain Western media outlets claiming that members of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda are hiding in Iran.

Such claims are part of an old scenario, which is meant to promote Iranophobia in the region, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said during his weekly press briefing on Tuesday.
Mehmanparast stated that Iran is one of the victims of terrorism and would never compromise with terrorists and would never provide a safe haven for them.
Terrorist groups are operating in the region, with the support of the West, but extremism and terrorism can only be eradicated in the region through a regional solution, he added.
Iran’s ambassador to Germany was not summoned
Commenting on reports that Iran’s ambassador to Germany was summoned, allegedly because Tehran did not allow the families of two Germans, who are currently detained in Iran, to meet the two men, Mehmanparast rejected the report, saying that Iran’s ambassador to Germany held talks with German officials on the issue.
The two German nationals, who had entered Iran on tourist visas, were arrested in October for trying to interview relatives of Sakineh Ashtiani without having obtained journalistic credentials. Sakineh Ashtiani has been convicted of adultery and murder.
However, the families of the two German nationals were allowed to visit the two men this week.
Western countries should respect Iranian nationals’ rights
Mehmanparast said Iran expects certain Western countries, which claim they are standard-bearers of human rights, to respect the rights of Iranian nationals detained in their countries.
For instance, these countries should take the measures necessary to arrange meetings between the detained Iranian nationals and their families, he added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Mehmanparast warned the United Stated against interfering in Iran’s internal affairs.
“This irresponsible move by the U.S. secretary of state and interference in Iran’s internal affairs cannot solve the problems they are facing in their own country,” he said in response to a recent statement issued by Washington on the human rights situation in Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a statement issued last week, welcomed a UN General Assembly resolution accusing Iran of human rights violations.
The statement claimed the international community is deeply concerned about human rights abuses allegedly occurring in Iran.
Interfering remarks prompted Majlis to review ties with Britain
Mehmanparast said the interfering remarks recently made by British officials prompted Iran’s parliament to review diplomatic relations with Britain.
Britain’s ambassador to Iran did not observe diplomatic protocol, he stated.