7 October IRNA

Iran says U.S. attacks "unacceptable"

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Raising deep concerns, the Iranian foreign ministry has immediately reacted to the U.S. military attacks against Afghanistan, saying the "vast U.S. attacks" are "unacceptable."

"These attacks which have been launched regardless of the world public opinion, especially the Muslim nations, and will damage the innocent and oppressed Afghans are unacceptable," the ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told IRNA. He noted that the United States should avoid any action which, he said, may encroach on the territorial integrity of the Iranian airspace.

The United States launched an attack on Afghanistan and its ruling Taliban on Sunday in retaliation for the September 11 terrorist strikes on New York and Washington. "On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan," President George W. Bush said in a televised address.

The U.S. action follows several weeks of demands that the Taliban hand over Osama bin Laden, whom U.S. officials hold responsible for the attacks. The Taliban have refused those demands. Bin Laden has been living in Afghanistan as a guest of the Taliban, th at rules most of Afghanistan, since they seized power in 1996.

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