05-04-2007, 01:59 PM
Direct Action Resistance Fighter
Joined: Aug 2006
Iran Fm Attacks Us Policy In Iraq
Quote:Iran has issued a strong attack against US policy in Iraq, blaming the American presence there for sectarian violence.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was speaking at a summit of world and regional powers in Egypt, called to discuss Iraq's security.
The summit had been expected to see the first high-level talks between the US and Iran in almost three decades.
But those hopes were dashed as the only meeting that took place was between ambassadors, Iraqi officials said.
"It was the ambassadors and members of the [US and Iranian] delegations that met," said Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed that she did not meet Mr Mottaki at the summit, but said she would have taken the opportunity had it arisen.
Iraq's neighbours, including Iran and Syria, had joined ministers from the G8 nations and the EU at the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Mr Mottaki also called for the immediate release of five Iranians detained in northern Iraq by US troops in January, which has become a major sore point between the US and Iran.
Speaking on the second day of the two-day summit, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki called for neighbouring countries to stop funding terrorists and to block their entry into the country.
"We will not allow terrorist organisations to use Iraqi territory as a safe haven," Mr Maliki said.
"That is what drives us to call on the regional neighbours to prevent the infiltration of terrorist groups into Iraq and to stop them obtaining material support and political and media support."
The US has previously accused Iran and Syria of allowing foreign fighters to enter Iraq and of fomenting unrest in the country.
Mr Mottaki said the US should issue a clear troop-withdrawal plan to return stability to Iraq.
"The continuation of, and increase in, terrorist acts in Iraq originates from the flawed approaches adopted by the foreign troops. Thus, in our view, the continuation of occupation lies at the origin of the crisis," he said.
"The United States must accept the responsibilities arising from the occupation of Iraq, and should not finger point or put the blame on others."
More than $30bn (£15bn) in aid and debt relief was pledged by donors on the first day of the summit, which ended with the signing of a five-year International Compact for Iraq (ICI).
The agreement offers financial aid but insists that Iraq pushes towards political reform and reconciliation.
Iraqi Finance Minister Bayan Jabor said Egypt had agreed to write off all the money it was owed by Iraq - about $800m - while Slovenia, Bulgaria and Poland would cancel 80% of Iraq's debts.
He said the European Union had pledged $200m in grants, while British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett committed the UK to the same amount.
Meanwhile, US forces in Iraq say they have detained 16 people suspected of smuggling armour-piercing bombs into the country from Iran.
The US army said the smugglers were arrested during military raids in the Sadr City area of Baghdad.
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