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U-N's Kofi Annan Discounts Iranian Meddling in Afghanistan - 2002-01-26


U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan has discounted reports Iran may be helping Afghan warlords destabilize Afghanistan's interim government.

Asked about reports Iran may be harboring members of the al Qaida terrorist network, Mr. Annan said this would be inconsistent with Iran's stated policies. He noted Iran - as he put it - has no love for al Qaida and has no Ideological, religious or political reasons to support it.

Mr. Annan is in Tehran to discuss efforts to rebuild war-torn Afghanistan.

Appearing at a joint news conference with Iran's foreign minister Kamal Kharazi, the U-N official praised Iran's support for Afghanistan's recovery efforts and its absorption of two million Afghan refugees over the last three decades.

Mr. Kharazi flatly denied Iran is arming opposition warlords in Afghanistan. He said his country is cooperating fully with the interim government for the reconstruction and stabilization of Afghanistan.

At an international aid conference in Tokyo this week, Iran pledged 500-million dollars to help re-build the central Asian nation.

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