Iran summons British envoy after foiled 'bombing' report

16th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Iran on Wednesday summoned London's ambassador to Tehran, Simon Gass, after it reported the arrest of several people linked to an outlawed opposition group that it said enjoyed Britain's "backing."

"The Islamic Republic of Iran demands a serious inquiry by the British government into this issue and a report of its findings," the official IRNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry official as telling London's envoy.

That was a reference to Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi's announcement on Tuesday that "two terrorist teams of hypocrites were identified and their key members were arrested."

Iranians authorities refer to the exiled opposition People's Mujahedeen as "hypocrites."

The minister accused Britain, France and Sweden of "backing" the Mujahedeen and added that one of the suspects.

The People's Mujahedeen was founded in 1965 in opposition to the shah and subsequently fought the clerical regime that ousted him in the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Then President Saddam allowed about 3,500 members and their families to live at a camp in Iraq as part of a policy of accommodating the Iranian armed opposition at bases in Iraq during his 1980-1988 war with Iran.

Following the US-led invasion of 2003, American forces disarmed the Mujahedeen and placed the residents under protection.

Moslehi said the detainees planned to "carry out bombings in several Tehran squares on the anniversary of the election" on June 12, which passed off without major protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran's opposition leaders, who reject Ahmadinejad's re-election last year as massively rigged, called off demonstrations on June 12 over safety concerns for participants.

Iran has repeatedly accused the West, and Britain in particular, of stoking unrest and seeking to destabilise the country in the wake of the hotly disputed re-election of Ahmadinejad.

© 2010 AFP

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