Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said that the presence of occupation forces in Iraq provokes the upsurge of terrorism in Iraq.
According to the press service of the presidential administration, Mr. Khatami sent Iraq's interim Governing Council a message that bluntly censured the murder of Ezzedine Salim, the head of the interim Governing Council.
"The continued illegitimate presence of the occupant armed forces in Iraq has failed to restore security and stability in the country but, on the contrary, has given rise to another wave of terrorism," said Mr. Khatami.
He urged the international community, especially the UN, to focus their joint efforts, free from any bias and influence of the occupation forces, on withdrawing foreign troops from the country, providing security and observing Iraq's national sovereignty to meet the Iraqi people's demands.
"I am convinced that in this case, the resolute aspiration of the Iraqi people for determining national sovereignty, preserving unity and not succumbing to the imposed conditions will not be undermined," said the Iranian president.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea