Iran challenges European gov'ts over Hamas killing

GENEVA - Iran's foreign ministerchallenged Western countries Monday to explain if they helped Israeli"terror brigades" assassinate a senior Hamas commander, saying theirsilence was undermining calls to fight terrorism.

ManouchehrMottaki told the UN Human Rights Council on Monday that Britain,France, Germany, Australia, Austria and Ireland should answer questionsabout their role in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, whose body wasfound in his room at a luxury Dubai hotel on January 19.

Mottaki,naming the countries because the alleged assassins used forged copiesof their passports, said "their security services, the intelligencepeople or a part of their governments" may have been involved.

"Itseems that the terror brigades of the Zionist regime, which were veryactive in the 1970s and 1980s, are once again revitalizing and becomingactive," Mottaki told journalists through a translator. "What areWestern countries doing? What is the relation of Western countries withthis terror and assassination?"

Israel's UN mission declinedcomment. The French Foreign Ministry in Paris said Mottaki's accusationwas "not credible" and deserved no comment.