Iran FM demands US, UK troop withdrawals from Iraq

Iranian Foreign Minister Manushehr Mottaki demanded on Friday the immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and British troops from Basra, accusing the British soldiers of destabilizing Iraq's second largest city. Wrapping up a three-day visit to Lebanon, Mottaki said Iran supported the "current political process in Iraq," but he urged the incoming government to control the "escalating terrorism" targeting Iraqi civilians and to push for an immediate end to what he called the US occupation. "We believe that the presence of the British forces in Basra has destabilized security in this city and has had some negative effects in the form of threats against southern Iran recently," Mottaki said.