Iran blames Israel for planned US Quran-burning

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Thursday condemned the plan by a US church to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, saying the event was masterminded by Israel.

The plan was "orchestrated by the Zionist regime after being defeated in its efforts against Muslims and the Islamic world," the official IRNA news agency quoted Mottaki as telling foreign ambassadors in Tehran.

He also urged the US administration to stop what he called a "despicable" project.
"This action will provoke the reaction of all Muslims as well as that of the faithful of other religions," IRNA quoted him as saying.

The Dove World Outreach Center in Florida is planning to burn dozens of copies of Islam's holy book on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

"American statesmen should carry out their obligations in providing the basic and fundamental rights of American Muslims and should prevent the promotion of such obscene and indecent plans," Mottaki said.

World leaders, Muslim and non-Muslim, have condemned the Quran-burning project, with US President Barack Obama calling it "destructive" and dangerous, saying it could trigger a wave of extremist violence.

But Terry Jones, the Dove World Outreach Center's pastor, has vowed to go ahead with the ceremony on Saturday.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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