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Iran slams Afghanistan bribery report

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says Tehran’s financial aid to Afghanistan is aimed at helping the war-ravaged country reconstruct its infrastructure.

“As Afghanistan’s neighbor, Iran has offered its assistance to the country to improve the state’s infrastructure and we will continue that,” a Press TV correspondent quoted Mehmanparast as telling reporters during his weekly press briefing on Tuesday morning.

The Iranian official made the remarks in response to a US media report that alleged that Iran gave “bags of money” to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to secure his loyalty.

“Unlike some countries that staged a military attack [on Afghanistan] and spent money on killing Afghan people and disrupting regional security, Iran is concerned about Afghanistan’s security and stability and has always offered help to the state for its reconstruction,” Mehmanparast added.

In a report published on Saturday, The New York Times claimed that President Karzai receives millions of dollars every other month from Iran and that the money is distributed among Afghan lawmakers, tribal elders and even Taliban commanders.

The Iranian foreign ministry official urged all the courtiers to spare no efforts to help improve Afghanistan’s economy and end the military presence of foreign states in the war-torn country.

He also blamed NATO and the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) forces, describing the presence of foreign troops in the region as the source of instability and insecurity in the Middle East.

“We think that without the foreign forces presence in the region, regional countries will be able to establish security themselves and there will be more calm,” he continued.

Commenting on the injection of fuel to the core of the Bushehr Nuclear power plant on Tuesday morning, Mehmanparast said Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities “would pave the way for progress in using alternative and less environmentally damaging energy sources in the future.”

“We will pursue our peaceful nuclear activities in other areas, too,” he noted.

The Iranian spokesperson also downplayed the US-sponsored sanctions against Tehran, saying the West’s economic measures against the Islamic Republic will not stop the Iranian nation from pursuing its nuclear rights.

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