Britain denies ‘meddling’ in Iran affairs

June 22nd, 2009 - 3:43 am ICT by IANS  

London, June 22 (IANS) Britain has rejected the claims by Iran that the post-poll protests and violence were orchestrated by foreign countries.
“I reject categorically the idea that the protesters in Iran are manipulated or motivated by foreign countries,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in a statement Sunday.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki had earlier accused Western countries, including Britain, of plotting to sabotage the presidential vote, which saw incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registering a landslide victory with over 63 percent of votes.

But soon after the results were declared, Ahmadinejad’s main challenger Mir-Hossein Moussavi, who received only 34 percent of votes, accused the government of widescale voting-fraud, leading to mass protests and violence that claimed at least 13 lives so far.

In his Sunday address to foreign reporters, Mottaki responded to “irresponsible and intrusive remarks” made by certain Western countries.

He focused much of his criticism on France, Germany and Britain, advising them to “think twice before questioning the democratic process of the recent election”.

Mottaki criticised the British foreign secretary for his inappropriate and illogical comments on Iran’s elections. He blamed Britain for causing insecurity in the Middle East by helping create the Zionist regime, Press TV reported.

But Miliband said that the allegation was “without foundation”.

“The UK is categorical that it is for the Iranian people to choose their government, and for the Iranian authorities to ensure the fairness of the result and the protection of their own people,” he was qoted as saying by the BBC.

Miliband also expressed concern over the report of the deaths of 13 protesters Saturday. “These reports will raise the level of concern among Iranians and around the world,” he said.

“This can only damage Iran’s standing in the eyes of the world.”

The protests were sparked by disputed presidential elections, but have since escalated into a political crisis for the establishment.

According to the BBC, foreign media organisations in Iran have been under heavy restrictions and their reporters have been prevented from leaving offices to confirm these reports.

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