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Iran Denies U.S. Claims About Arms Smuggling

Prime Minister al-Ja'fari pledged to investigate the U.S. charges (file photo) 10 August 2005 -- Iran today rejected charges by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that Iranian arms were being smuggled --> /featuresarticle/2005/08/211f0606-0a00-4290-ba35-2ccb6049f0cd.html to insurgents into Iraq.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Rumsfeld's comments were meant to cover U.S. mistakes in Iraq. He said that under international pressure the U.S. has invented a fictitious enemy.

Rumsfeld said yesterday that U.S. intelligence believes a shipment of explosives discovered some two weeks ago in Iraq came from Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Ja'fari said today that security agencies would investigate the U.S. claims. Ja'fari promised that if these agencies proved the claims were true, "we will not hesitate to take up the matter with Iranian authorities."

Earlier in the day, Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan al-Jabr said accusations against Iran were exaggerated.