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Khatami issues warning to Bush

Tehran, Aug. 28 (Reuters): Iranian President Mohammad Khatami warned the US today against attacking Iran, particularly in the aftermath of a possible US strike on neighbouring Iraq.

Calling for “realistic” policies from Washington to avoid the global implications of attacks, Khatami urged Washington to drop its hostile attitude and improve ties with Iran.

US President George W. Bush has branded Iran and Iraq as part of an “axis of evil” — along with North Korea — for allegedly seeking weapons of mass destruction, and said the US was determined to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Iran and Iraq deny the charge. “We will do our utmost so that no attack or aggression takes place against any country, including our own country,” Khatami told a news conference. “But if such an attack takes place, naturally we should be ready to pay the price and defend our interests.”

“We hope Iraq will not be attacked, and if this occurs we hope that (America) will not try its luck by attacking other countries and realise that American public opinion will not tolerate this policy for very long,” Khatami said.

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