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Iran accuses US, Israel of supporting Kurdish rebels

Iran's foreign minister accused the US and Israel of supporting Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq.

world Updated: Oct 29, 2007 09:55 IST

Iran's foreign minister accused the US and Israel of supporting Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq, but his Turkish counterpart distanced himself from the claim, saying he didn't think Washington was behind the Iraq-based rebels but stressed that Ankara would do what was necessary to stop them.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters in Tehran at a news conference yesterday with Ali Babacan, Turkey's foreign minister, that "terrorist activities" have increased in northern Iraq since "foreign forces" arrived there.

"From our point of view, efforts by Israel and the US are behind some terrorist activities. Most probably, some secret agreements have caused a lack of confrontation against terrorism," Mottaki said, referring to Iraq-based Kurdish rebels.

"We hope this part of the US policy would be corrected," he said.

But Babacan, who was in Iran to lobby for support for the Turkish side in its conflict with the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, expressed gratitude for Iran's cooperation but did not back Mottaki's accusations against the US and Israel, which are allies of Ankara.

"I don't like to think that the US supports a terrorist group," Babacan said.

Later yesterday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also criticised the US role in Iraq during his meeting with Babacan, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.