Saturday, July 16, 2005

Xinhua - Iran foils al-Qaida conspiracies, 3000 members detained or expelled

Xinhua - English: "
Iran foils al-Qaida conspiracies, 3000 members detained or expelled

www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-17 08:13:44

TEHRAN, July 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran has foiled five al-Qaida conspiracies against it and detained or expelled nearly 3,000 al-Qaida members, Intelligence Minister Ali Younesi said on Saturday.

"Currently some 200 al-Qaida members are in Iranian prisons," Younesi told the official IRNA news agency.

"Since the collapse of the Taliban in Afghanistan, al-Qaida made five waves of attempts against Iran which have all been thwarted," Younesi said.

Meanwhile, Younesi accused the United States and Israel of recruiting former al-Qaida members.

The statement is believed to be the most detailed and comprehensive official revelation on Tehran's al-Qaida crackdown so far.

The United States has repeatedly accused Iran of sponsoring terrorists, labeling it as a member of the "Axis of Evil."

Tehran has vehemently rejected the charge, saying Washington is to blame for the growth of many terrorist groups including al-Qaida.

Iran says that it strongly opposes any form of terrorism from which the Iranians also suffer greatly."