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Iran says Israel behind Quran burning plan

Iran on Thursday said Israel was behind the plan by a US pastor to burn copies of the Quran on the ninth anniversary of the Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attack, the official news agency IRNA reported.

world Updated: Sep 10, 2010 02:44 IST

Iran on Thursday said Israel was behind the plan by a US pastor to burn copies of the Quran on the ninth anniversary of the Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attack, the official news agency IRNA reported.

"The software for this plan was made by the Zionists (Israel) following their defeats against Muslims and the Islamic world," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in a meeting with foreign diplomats in Tehran.

Terry Jones, who leads an evangelical congregation of just 50 people at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, has proclaimed on Saturday "International Burn a Quran Day".

Mottaki also blamed former US president George W. Bush, saying Bush's religious rhetoric after the Sep 11 attack led to Islamophobia in the US.

"The current US administration should fulfil its duties in guaranteeing the basic rights of American Muslims for avoiding the spread of such inappropriate and devilish moves," the minister said.

Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani, one of the senior clergy figures in Iran, had on Wednesday harshly condemned the Quran burning plan and called on the US administration to arrest Terry Jones.

He further warned that if such a "gruesome and inhuman act" took place, Muslims would hold the administration of President Barack Obama responsible.

The ayatollah further said that desecrating the Quran would not only insult Muslims worldwide, but also the followers of Jesus Christ, his mother Mary and the prophet Moses.