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Iran Wants New U.N. Iraq Draft

February 6, 2003

LONDON (AP) _ Iran’s foreign minister called for a second United Nations resolution to help resolve the Iraq crisis through diplomacy, saying Thursday he feared war would have serious repercussions in the region.

Kamal Kharrazi, after talks in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, said a new resolution would be ``another means of using diplomatic channels to ask Iraq to comply″ with U.N. disarmament demands.

Iran strongly opposes any attack without U.N. approval, though Iran fought a war with Iraq in 1980-88. The prospect of war with Iraq has already brought nearly 100,000 U.S. troops to the Persian Gulf, right at Iran’s doorstep. Iran, which President Bush branded part of the ``axis of evil″ along with Iraq, fears that war would increase U.S. power in the region.

``We are living in a very crucial time and we have to do our best to resolve this crisis without the necessity of using force,″ Kharrazi told reporters.

Britain, a staunch overseas supporter of Bush’s tough stance on Iraq, has sent 35,000 troops to the Gulf to prepare for a possible war to unseat Saddam Hussein and destroy his alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Both Britain and the United States severed diplomatic ties with Iran after the Islamic revolution, but Britain and Iran exchanged ambassadors in May 1999 and have attempted to improve relations.

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