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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; RaceBannon; dixiechick2000; Valin; piasa; Texas_Dawg
Iran admits holding key Al-Qaeda members

TEHERAN - Iran has acknowledged for the first time that it is holding senior figures from Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network and said it expected to try, deport or extradite them soon.

The United States has demanded that Teheran turn over any prisoners to face justice.

Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi gave no names but said top Osama aides were among 'many' Al-Qaeda members detained by security forces since the Taleban militia in neighbouring Afghanistan was overthrown in 2001.

'Some have been expelled or handed over to their country of origin.

'We are still holding many others, small and big,' he told reporters after a weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari said some of the detainees would be extradited to their home countries while others would be tried in Iran.

The rest would be deported to the countries from which they entered Iran, he told the official Irna news agency.

It was the first public admission by top government officials that Iran is holding some key members of Al-Qaeda, which Washington holds responsible for the attacks in the US on Sept 11, 2001.

Previously, Iran has said it was still trying to identify the detainees.

Diplomats said part of the reason for Teheran's reticence was the fact that many of the detainees had been stripped of their nationalities by Arab governments, complicating the Islamic regime's efforts to negotiate their handover.

Wednesday's admission came two days after US President George W. Bush increased pressure on Iran by accusing it of harbouring and assisting terrorists.

In strongly worded comments at the White House, he said: 'This behaviour is completely unacceptable and states that support terror will be held accountable.'

The Bush administration said it could not confirm Mr Yunesi's comments and questioned whether Aal-Qaeda members in Iran were in prison or being harboured by the government.

Still, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said 'the statements would appear to confirm what we and others believe to be a significant Al-Qaeda presence in Iran to include members of its senior membership'.

'These terrorists, we've made very clear, must be brought to justice,' he added.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Iran 'needs to deport these people either to jurisdictions where they're wanted for crimes, or to their home countries'.

Iran has denied it harbours al-Qaeda members.

Mr Yunesi said: 'As soon as we get any information about those linked to Al-Qaeda or its members, we immediately start our intelligence activities and arrest them.

'We are determined to confront them and we have done that. And this confrontation is not to make anyone in particular happy.'

ABC News reported that the CIA had confirmed that Al-Qaeda's security chief Saif Al-Adel and spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith were in Iranian custody.

Media reports and intelligence sources have also said Iran is believed to be holding Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri. -- Reuters, AFP, AP,4386,201400,00.html
13 posted on 07/25/2003 7:22:38 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Ronin; Valin; piasa; dixiechick2000; freedom44; BeforeISleep; norton; ...
Government spokesman: Iran will not follow EU policies

Tehran, July 23, IRNA -- Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh
here on Wednesday reacted to EU foreign ministers anti-Iran statement
and said that Iran will not follow Europe's policies.
Speaking to reporters after the cabinet weekly meeting, he replied
to a reporter who asked about his view on EU recent decisions saying
that the EU outlooks expressed yesterday mark their own policies.
"Our policies are determined in accordance with national interests
and we shall always make decisions on the basis of our own principles
and in line with our public interests," he noted.
Ramezanzadeh said, "We have already declared our positive stance
on the additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
(NPT) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the related
negotiations. However, our trust on the issue should be attracted."
According to a section of the Western media, EU foreign ministers
in their Monday meeting in Brussels declared that if Iran does not
cooperate with IAEA, further expansion of Iran-EU ties will be
14 posted on 07/25/2003 8:31:47 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn
Do either of you believe Iran has Al-Qaeda members in custody?

I notice they don't reveal their names.
26 posted on 07/25/2003 7:26:23 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 ("The Prez is as focused as a doberman on a hambone."---Dennis Miller)
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