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Iran Says It Will Not Meddle In Iraqi Affairs

Tehran, 18 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iran's official IRNA news agency says Iran again assured Iraq that it will not interfere in its affairs. The assurance was made today by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi (pictured) to visiting Iraqi Governing Council chairman Jalal Talabani. Kharrazi said that Tehran is ready to help bring about stability to Iraq. He called for the establishment of an independent and strong Iraqi government based on the will of the Iraqi people.

Iranian President Mohammed Khatami for the first time yesterday expressly recognized the U.S.-backed interim Iraqi Governing Council after meeting with Talabani.

Khatami said Iran's government does recognize the Iraqi Governing Council and believes it is capable, with the Iraqi people, of managing the affairs of the country and taking measures leading toward independence.