Sunday, November 28, 2004

International News Article |

International News Article | "Iran Says It's Ready to Help Iraq on Border Security
Sun Nov 28, 2004 10:00 AM ET

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said Sunday it was ready to co-operate with Iraq to stop militants crossing their mountainous 1,000-mile border to join the insurgency there.
Washington and some Iraqi officials have accused Iran of supplying Iraqi insurgents with money, arms and militants.

Deputy interior minister for security affairs, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, denied this and said Iran was willing to help the Iraqi government with technical expertise and equipment to stop cross-border infiltration.

"We are ready to train and equip Iraqi border-guards," he told a news conference.

Ahmadi said he did not rule out the possibility that some infiltrators might have illegally crossed into Iraq but that Iran had never encouraged it.

"As Iran has a long border with Iraq, some illegal crossings might have happened despite our tight security," he said. "Iran has never allowed any terrorist to cross into Iraq or to any other country. We will continue to do so."

He also said Iran would host a meeting of interior ministers from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey and Saudi Arabia Tuesday that would emphasize the importance of Iraqi sovereignty and look at ways of helping it allay the ongoing insurgency.

"We have no intention of interfering in Iraq's state matters. Iraq's stability is necessary for Iran's security."

Some Iranian hard-line groups have campaigned to register volunteers prepared to carry out suicide attacks on U.S.-led forces in Iraq. But Ahmadi said the volunteers would not be allowed to cross Iran's borders.

"Such groups are illegal. Such measures will be strongly confronted by Iran," Ahmadi said."