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Saturday, February 3, 2007

No Iranians arrested in Gaza, Tehran official says

No Iranians arrested in Gaza, Tehran official says

Iranian official Larijani, Islamic Jihad leader deny reports of 5 Iranian citizens being arrested in Gaza in Tehran press conference, discuss Palestinian matter
Dudi Cohen Published:  02.03.07, 23:49
"A blatant lie," was Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani's response to reports that five Iranians were arrested by Palestinian security officers in Gaza on Friday.
According to a Palestinian security official, at least five Iranian citizens were arrested during a raid at the Islamic University, a Hamas stronghold in Gaza City. Gaza Violence
One of the Iranians was a general, and the group was believed to have been sent by Iran to train Hamas members.
Larijani addressed the report at a press conference in Tehran after meeting with Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Abdullah Shallah and was quoted by Iranian news agency Mehr.

Shallah himself called the report "a joke."

Regarding the Hamas-Fatah infighting over the past few days, Larijani said, "Right now there are conflicts in Palestine that need to be worked out, and we are trying to reach an agreement between them."

"The current conflict is not in the Palestinians' best interest, and we support Palestinian national unity," he stressed.

On his meeting with Shallah, Larijani said "the main topic I discussed with Ramadan Abdullah was how an atmosphere of internal Palestinian unity could be created."

Shallah explained that "Iran is a central and senior country that aids Muslims all over the world, especially on the Palestinian matter, and supports Palestinian factions fighting the Zionist regime."

Shallah explained that Iran is a country that supports the Palestinian's struggle, and he therefore visited the country in order to update the Iranian officials on "the recent developments and existing problems in the occupied territories, and to ask for their help."
When asked about last week's suicide bombing in Eilat , which his organization claimed responsibility for, Shallah said "the answer is clear. As long as the Zionist occupation continues, so must the suicide missions. The suicide missions are our way to defend ourselves from the Zionist regime's attacks."
"In light of the fact that Israel is killing the organizations' commanders, such suicide missions are natural. It's natural that we will defend ourselves any way possible," he added.

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