TEHRAN, March 15 (MNA) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry has strongly dismissed reports by some NATO officials that a recently found cargo of arms, bound for Afghan insurgents, originated from Iran.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast described these reports as a “political propaganda” and part of efforts to distract public attention from the fact that the presence of Western forces in Afghanistan has promoted “extremism” and an increase in drugs production.

He went on to say that Iran itself is a victim of terrorism and has not supported and “will never support” any terrorist groups.

Bahrainis’ demands should be responded fairly

On popular uprisings in Bahrain, the spokesperson said the Bahrain protestors’ demands should be responded fairly.

Saudi Arabia has deployed forces in Bahrain to counter protestors.

Mehmanparast said military interference in Bahrain will make the situation more “complicated”. He added foreign forces should not interfere in the internal affairs of Bahrain.

He also pointed to a recent visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Manama, saying the travel of U.S. military officials to the country would only lead to an intensification of violence against Bahrainis.

Gates arrived in Manama on Friday for talks with Bahraini officials, including King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

Mehmanparast said Iranophobia and Islamophobia were among the issues discussed between the two countries’ officials.

This way the Americans sell their arms to the regional countries, he noted.

Invitation to Jordan king

In response to reports that the Jordan monarch has been recently invited to visit Iran to participate in the Persian New Year festivities (Noruz), Mehmanparast said the Jordanian king had been invited to Iran several months ago.

MP Alireza Zakani said on Monday that Jordan King Malik Abdullah will travel to Iran in Noruz, which begins on March 21.

“Malek Abdulla, in response to a request by Iran’s head of presidential office, has expressed readiness to travel to Tehran in Noruz,” Zakani stated.

Mehmanparast said media outlets should be more careful in reporting news stories.

No doubt three islands belong to Iran

The Islamic Republic has always insisted that the three islands of the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa belong to Iran, Mehmanparast said.

If there is any miscomprehension about Abu Musa Island, it can be cleared up through dialogue between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, he added.

However, he said that the UAE has taken a positive approach toward the issue.

The Persian Gulf Cooperation Council said in a statement recently that upon the request of the UAE foreign minister it would not mention the issue of the three islands in its final resolution.




News Code 45177

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