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Blair: Iran a State Sponsor of Terrorism


British Prime Minister Tony Blair says there is "no doubt" that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, and he urged the Islamic Republic not to obstruct the path to peace in the Middle East.

Mr. Blair told a British parliamentary committee Tuesday that he agrees with President Bush's criticisms of Iran, saying it "certainly does sponsor terrorism."

Asked whether anyone would believe him if he said a military strike against Iran was needed because it possessed nuclear weapons, Mr. Blair said it "depends on what the evidence base is."

In Tehran, state media quoted a foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi who dismissed Mr. Blair's remarks as being influenced by what he called the extremist stance of Israel. The spokesman denied Iranian involvement in terrorism and said Iran has itself been the victim of terrorists.

The exchange comes as negotiators from Britain, France and Germany meet in Tuesday for a new round of closed-door nuclear talks aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear fuel production program.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

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