Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Iran says ready to mediate between Pakistan and India- report

Iran says ready to mediate between Pakistan and India- report

Tehran announced its readiness to mediate between India and Pakistan to ease the tensions sparked by the Mumbai attacks, Iranian media reported on Wednesday.

Tensions grew between India and Pakistan after last month's terrorist attacks on Mumbai in which at least 179 people were killed.

Officials from the U.S., Britain and India have alleged that Pakistan was liable for the attacks due to its inability to take out terrorist groups operating on its soil.

Iran late on Tuesday affirmed that it would talk with India and Pakistan to defuse tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries, Press TV reported.

"Certain extra-regional powers are carrying out activities that cause instability in South Asia. They have organized plans that lead to extremism," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted by Press TV as saying on Tuesday.

Iranian media suggested that Mottaki was referencing the United States in saying "extra-regional powers". His comments came after the Iranian president blamed the U.S. for the attacks earlier in December.

"By keeping its forces in Afghanistan, the U.S. has inflicted a heavy financial burden on its economy," said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, suggesting that Washington seeks to bring down the economies of India and China by causing instability.

"Their ulterior motive is to weaken India and China," he added.

Iranian officials say the current situation requires the unity of regional countries and not the intervention of world powers.

The U.S., however, has released various reports suggesting that war between New Delhi and Islamabad may be on the horizon. Troop numbers from both sides have since increased along the border between the two countries.

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