Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Iran's Stances On Iraq Are Positive: Hakim

Description of Selected News: "Iran's Stances On Iraq Are Positive: Hakim

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- Head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) Abdelaziz Hakim said here Monday that Iran's stances on Iraq have always been positive.

Talking to reporters here on Monday, Hakim ruled out claims that Tehran has interfered in Iraq's internal affairs, adding that since the ouster of Saddam Hussein, Iran has given a lot of aid to Iraqis, and that it has been making huge efforts to put the situation under control.

Hakim said there are enemies who do not want to see good ties between Iran and Iraq and efforts should be made to foil the ploys of the foes.

On the expulsion of the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraq, Hakim said Iraqi provisional government intends to expel the terrorist group from Iraq.

The problem is that the UN considers the MKO members as refugees, he said in conclusion.

Hakim also said that ousted president Saddam deserved the death penalty for his war against Iran as well as other crimes.

"Saddam committed many crimes, one of the most important of which is the attack againt Iran which killed hundreds of thousands of Iranians and Iraqis," Hakim said as quoted by AFP.

"In Iraq we have the death penalty, and a lot of crimes committed by Saddam Hussein merit the death penalty," added the SCIRI leader.

Saddam sparked an eight-year war with Iran when he attempted to profit from Iran's revolutionary turmoil by making a land grab into the oil-rich Iranian southwest in 1980.

The conflict cost the lives of up to a million people and involved the use of nerve gas and other chemical weapons by Iraqi troops.

However to Tehran's anger, Saddam's invasion of Iran did not feature on the chargesheet read out at his first court appearance last week.

The head of the Iraqi Special Tribunal trying the ousted president, Salem Chalabi, is due to visit Iran in the coming days to discuss pressing additional charges.

In other comments, Hakim dismissed U.S.-led allegations of Iranian interference in Iraq.

"Iran has made no negative interference in Iraq," he told reporters. "It is not the first time these kind of accusations have been made but Iran has always stood by the side of the Iraqi people.

"The security situation is improving in Iraq and the Iraqi government has decided to act against terrorist groups," the SCIRI leader said.

"The transfer of sovereignty is real and true. We think that this has been a very important step to total independence," he said, referring to the June 28 transfer of power that formally wound up the US-led occupation."

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