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Radical Iraqi Cleric Pledges Support for Tehran


Radical Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr says his militiamen will help defend Iran if it comes under attack, as the international community pressures Iran about its nuclear ambitions.

Iran's state news agency (IRNA) reports the Iraqi cleric, who is visiting Tehran, Sunday vowed to support the Islamic Republic.

Also Sunday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, condemned remarks by French President Jacques Chirac. Last week, the president said France could use nuclear weapons to respond to a state-sponsored terrorist attack.

In other developments, Iranian Central Bank and Foreign Ministry officials say the country has not begun moving its currency reserves out of European banks, contrary to an earlier statement by Iran's central bank chief.

The initial statement came after Britain, France and Germany said they will seek to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible economic sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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