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Iran summons Swiss envoy over US 'threats'

AFP · 4 Nov 2011, 09:57

Published: 04 Nov 2011 13:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Nov 2011 09:57 GMT+01:00

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Iran made a formal protest Thursday over military experts' remarks to a US Congressional committee last week urging the targeted assassination of members of its elite Quds Force military special operations unit.

Iran's foreign ministry summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, Livia Leu Agosti, to condemn the Congressional committee session "on the issue of assassinating Iranian officials," the website of Iran's state broadcaster said.

The Swiss embassy handles US diplomatic matters in the absence of diplomatic ties between Iran and the United States.

"Considering the threats made against the Iranian officials in this session, in case of any kind of terrorist action against Iranian officials, the American government will be held responsible," an unnamed foreign ministry official reportedly told Leu Agosti.

Iran was complaining about testimony given to the US Congress's Homeland Security Committee on October 26th by two military analysts invited to speak as expert witnesses.

The first, a US retired four-star general who helped plan the US-led occupation of Iraq, Jack Keane, called for the killing of leaders of Iran's Quds Force in retaliation for their alleged role in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

"Why don't we kill them? We kill other people who are running terrorist organisations against the United States," he said.

The other witness, Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA officer who is now a senior fellow at the neo-conservative think-tank the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, agreed.

"I dont think that you are going to really intimidate these people, get their attention, unless you shoot somebody," he said, arguing that an attempt should be made to capture or kill the head of the Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani.

Several US congressmen on the committee said they were not excluding any measures against Iran, but they did not explicitly endorse Keane and Gerecht's advice.

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The Iranian foreign ministry official who spoke to the Swiss ambassador reportedly said however that the argument for assassinations "contradicts Washington's legal obligations in combatting terrorism."

Iran has fiercely denied any involvement in the alleged assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador and sent a letter to Washington demanding an apology.

It has called the accusations an attempt by the United States to distract attention from domestic economic problems and a failed foreign policy in the Middle East.

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Your comments about this article

2011-11-05 15:39:10 by HoppSuisse
Recently a Jewish Israeli man told me about a Palestinian woman who was sick and dying. The Jews treated her in their hospital for free and she was cured. Later this woman came back wearing a suicide belt and killed them. This man asked what can they do with a people that act this way? Golda Meir (Israeli Prime Minister, died 1978) said that there would be peace with the Palestinians when the Palestinians love their children more then they hate the Jews. The Palestinians have been offered peace and their own country but the Palestinians do not want peace, they want to kill the Jews.
2011-11-04 15:32:14 by asteriks
I think that behind killings in Iran stand Israel and USA and beside it Israel killed one of leader of Hamas (with poison), when Iran and Hamas have such barbarian enemies, they must use the same methods of fight. When Israel kill, when USA kill, why Hamas and Iran should not do the same?
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