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British training Ahwazi militants in Jordan, claims Iran

The Iranian regime's new English language television station, Press TV, has broadcast claims that the British government is providing military training for Ahwazi militants in Jordan (click for details).

The television channel launched this month claims that "anti-Iranian forces" have been receiving training at a British army base near the Iraqi border since March 2007. It alleges that "retired Jordanian officers" are involved in the training.

It adds: "The large volume of personnel presently housed in the camp indicates that long-term plans are being orchestrated against the Iranian national security particularly in southern areas such as Khuzestan province."

Nasser Bani Assad, spokesman for the British Ahwazi Friendship Society, said: "The claims of British training for militants is not new, but this is one of the craziest allegations made by the Iranian government. If these claims were true, the regime would have evidence and would be making a great deal about it at the United Nations. Ahwazis have not received any such training from Britain, but there are people gullible enough to believe this propaganda.

"We caution people to read between the lines. The Jordanians are attempting to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which is a direct threat to Iran's Hamas allies. So the Iranian regime is smearing Jordan by blaming it for unrest in Ahwaz.

"Previously, Iran has blamed Canada for unrest among Ahwazis when the Canadian government placed pressure on the regime over the arrest, torture, rape and murder of Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi while she was in Iranian custody.

"Saudi Arabia, Al-Qaeda, Baathists, Wahhabists, Shell Oil and Satanists have also been blamed for Ahwazi unrest in order to portray Arabs as a fifth column in Iranian society. These conspiracies do not exist. They are the products of the colourful imagination of Iranian propagandists who are playing on feelings of insecurity in the Middle East and are rallying nationalist sentiment at home."