TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani said that the United States and Britain are seeking to forge an imaginary enemy in order to justify their presence in the region.
Speaking in a joint press conference with Iraq’s Minister of State for National Security and caretaker of the Transportation Ministry Shirwan al-Waili here on Wednesday, Larijani voiced pleasure in the Iraqi minister’s visit to Tehran and expressed the hope that the security conditions in Iraq would be improved, given the responsibility that al-Waili holds with regard to security affairs.
He further stressed Iran’s sensitiveness to Iraq’s issues, and said, “Iraq is our neighbor and friend, and Mr. Maliki’s administration has taken good steps in establishing security in that country and we will do whatever we can within our possibilities to help them.”
The official also mentioned that during the meeting, the two sides have discussed various issues, including the barbaric conduct of the US troops in their invasion of the Iranian consulate general in Erbil and kidnapping of the five Iranian diplomats.
Asked to elaborate on the results of his meetings with Saudi officials, he said that during his visit to Riyadh, he has discussed mutual cooperation with the officials of that country.
Describing Iran and Saudi Arabia as two important and influential countries in the region, he said that increased exchange of economic visits and cooperation in political and cultural areas would help to the establishment of stability in the region proportionately.
He further noted the sensitive conditions in the region, and stressed that talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia could help to the restoration of sustainable security and stability in the region.
Also pointing to the ongoing issues in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, Larijani said that the present conditions prove that the United States’ strategy has been futile, adding, “The United State’s adventurism in the region only left undesirable effects on the region.”
Asked to comment on the recent statements of the US President, George W. Bush, he said, “I believe that they are escaping ahead. That is to say, they don’t want to accept their previous errors, but if you pay attention to their statements, you find out that they utter such words that show they are aware of their blunders.”
He also pointed to the controversial subject of Shiite-Sunnite differences, and said, “The differences between the Muslim Shiites and Sunnites have been sparked in an artificial manner, while the origin of the efforts made to foment religious conflicts is fully evident. The United States and Britain, in pursuit of their colonialist goals, are seeking to forge illusive enemies in the region. In their Great Middle-East plan also, they are worried about the solidarity of the regional countries, because if this happens, the countries of the region will find out that they don’t need alien players.”
“As regards the Great Middle-East plan, the US seeks to stand in a position which could be perceived as the top of a pyramid and place regional countries at the bottom so that they always need it. To this end, Washington needs to sow seeds of discord among the regional states and the forged Shiite-Sunnite differences serve the same purpose. Because under such conditions, the regional countries would be in desperate need of a third party who could solve their differences. That’s why the US and Britain are seeking to deepen the existing differences, particularly after the recent developments in Lebanon and Iraq,” he said.
Larijani further stressed that Iran and Saudi Arabia could make serious efforts to defuse such plots.
Asked about allegations that the visit to Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors follows a suspension of nuclear activities at Natanz nuclear facility, he said inspection of nuclear facility is a routine procedure which takes place in compliance with the rules of the safeguard agreement.
In response to another question about the measures so far adopted by Tehran for the release of the Iranian diplomats who have been kidnapped by the US troops in Iraq’s northern city of Erbil, Larijani said that both Iranian and Iraqi governments are making continuous efforts to set the diplomats free, saying that Tehran has discussed the issue with the Iraqi government.
“We have discussed the case with both Mr. al-Waili and President Jalal Talabani,” he said, stressing that the raid on the Iranian consulate general in Erbil and abduction of the Iranian diplomats could not be justified under any international standards or criteria.