No Al Qaeda activities in Iran, says foreign minister

Tehran, April 23 (IANS) Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi Tuesday categorically denied claims about Al Qaeda’s activities in his country, stressing that such allegations are “ridiculous”, reported Xinhua, citing the semi-official Fars news agency.

Salehi said assertions about Al Qaeda’s activities in Iran are “the most ridiculous claims” that he has ever heard. ” It is a sheer lie, a scandalous lie that surprised me.”

On Monday, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Canada had foiled an Al Qaeda-supported terror plot against a domestic passenger train by arresting two suspects.

Police said neither of the two suspects is Canadian and they had received direction and guidance from “Al Qaeda elements” in Iran.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmenparast Tuesday also dismissed the accusations from Canada.

No proof or document has been presented by the Canadian officials about the case, Mehmenparast said in his weekly press briefing.

“The political and ideological views of the extremist groups, especially Al Qaeda extremists, are by no means consistent with those of the Islamic republic,” he said.

“We are against any violence and terrorist acts which endanger the life of the innocent,” the spokesman said, adding: “Our nation is (itself) a victim of terrorism and we do not encourage such phenomena by any means.”

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