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Bosnia: U.S. Demands Bosnian Official Resign

Washington, 4 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The United States last week demanded that a high-ranking Bosnian official resign because of what it said were his ties to Iran.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said the United States has determined that Bosnian Federation Deputy Defense Minister Hasan Cengic "personally maintains close ties to Iran."

Burns said Cengic "has also obstructed development of the Western- oriented defense structure in the federation and has worked against a democratic federation in general."

Because of this, Burns said the United States has decided not to deliver the $100 million worth of military equipment sitting on board a ship despite assurances from senior Bosnian officials that Cengic will be replaced.

Burns said the United States has decided to go public with the announcement because it has a commitment from the Bosnian government that Cengic will be relieved of his duties but "has not seen any action toward this."

The military equipment is designated to be used in the equip-and- train program in Bosnia.