Canada said on Monday that its police had arrested two ‘foreign nationals’ who were planning to derail a VIA passenger train traveling between Toronto and New York, claiming that the suspects had links to ‘al-Qaeda elements inside Iran.’”Iran has strongly rejected a recent claim by the Canadian government over alleged links between the suspects in a foiled terrorist attack in Canada and Tehran. Canada said on Monday that its police had arrested two ‘foreign nationals’ who were planning to derail a VIA passenger train traveling between Toronto and New York, claiming that the suspects had links to “al-Qaeda elements inside Iran.”
In his weekly press conference in Tehran on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast rejected the unfounded allegation, saying, “Al-Qaeda’s mindset is by no means congruent with [the ideology of] the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Mehmanparast stated.He also noted that Canada has even failed to provide any reliable evidence on the suspects claimed to have been detained in relation to the case. The Iranian official said Tehran was opposed to any type of terrorist act that jeopardized the lives of people. Mehmanparast dismissed Canada’s allegation as part of its Iranophobia campaign. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is the biggest victim of terrorism, but the extremist administration of Canada has put Iranophobia on its agenda over the recent years,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said. Mehmanparast also slammed the West’s double standards in dealing with terrorism, calling on the Western countries, particularly Canada, to stop supporting terrorist activities in the world, specifically in Syria. US support for Israel foments regional instability Commenting on a recent arms deal between Washington and Tel Aviv, the Iranian official said the US military support for the Israeli regime “is not a new issue,” warning that the persistence of such moves could lead to more atrocities on the part of Israel and further undermine stability and security in the region. On Monday, the United States and the Israeli regime finalized a new arms deal worth USD 10 billion. The agreement was reached between the visiting US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Moshe Yaalon. Mehmanparast said certain countries including the United States are pursuing their own interests in the Middle East, reiterating their presence will bring instability to the region. Myanmar must stop killing of Muslims The Foreign Ministry spokesman touched on the rampant killing and harassment of Rohingya Muslims by Buddhist extremists in Myanmar, calling for an end to all sectarian and communal violence in the country.
“The government of Myanmar must stop acts of extremism and violence, this is the demand of countries and international organizations,” he urged, noting that Tehran has been making efforts to stop harassment of the Muslim minority.On Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” involving over 60,000 displaced Rohingya Muslims who will face heavy monsoon floods from May to September. According to the UN, more than 115,000 people remain homeless due to 2012 attacks by extremist Buddhists against the western Rakhine state’s community of Rohingya Muslims, which has been described by the world body as one of the most persecuted minority groups in the world. All military intervention in Syria harms people Responding to a question on the US decision to deploy 200 troops in Jordan to assist the foreign-backed militants in neighboring Syria, Mehmanparast maintained that any foreign intervention to fuel armed operations in the country is against the interests of the Syrian nation.
“The only solution to the issue of Syria is supporting the rights of the government and people of that country, and grounds should be prepared for various parties to pursue negotiations in security and peace,” he told reporters, saying that the future of Syria must be decided through elections.“Tehran will continue all its efforts and measures to resolve this crisis through the best possible channel and in a peaceful manner,” he stressed. Many people, including large numbers of government security forces and army personnel, have been killed in two years of a deadly unrest which Damascus says is being orchestrated from outside the country. Inspection of Iranian planes in Iraq unjustifiable During his press conference, Mehmanparast criticized Iraqi aviation officials for grounding and inspecting Iranian cargo planes carrying humanitarian aid to crisis-hit Syria, under political pressure from other countries. “This measure is not negligible or justifiable, and we have voiced our protest against this approach and deem it a violation of international law and conventions,” he stated. The Foreign Ministry spokesman pointed out that repeated inspections of Iranian planes en route Syria have further proved the falsehood of allegations against the Islamic Republic. He added that Iraqi officials have been warned against insisting on the inspection of Iranian airplanes. Tehran slams anti-Iranian conference in Azerbaijan Mehmanparast condemned holding of anti-Iranian meetings in Azerbaijan describing it as an act of “sedition” at a time Tehran is seeking détente with its northwestern neighbor. The conference of the separatist and anti-Iran South Azerbaijan National Liberation Movement in the Republic of Azerbaijan was held in Baku on March 30. The anti-Iran elements participating in the forum supported the secession of Iran’s East and West Azerbaijan Provinces from the Islamic Republic. “The officials of neither country must allow the acts of such people, whose intentions and sources of support remain unknown, to influence Tehran-Baku relations,” Mehmanparast urged on Tuesday. Iran Foreign Ministry pursuing Saudi diplomat’s case On the fate of a drunken Saudi diplomat who fatally injured an Iranian driver while speeding on a boulevard in northeast of Tehran, Mehmanparast noted that the Iranian Foreign Ministry is closely following up on the case. He said from the judicial point of view, judges are to decide on the gravity of the crime and the compensation; while on the diplomatic side, whether or not the Saudi official has to leave Iran will depend on further investigation into the nature and level of his crime as well as his track records. YH/HSN/MRS/PR/HJL/SS