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  Iran Defends Right To Arms In Gaza

By Reuters

January 21, 2009 "
Reuters" -- - "Iran has said today resistance groups around the world like those in Gaza had the right to have access to weapons to fight against "colonialists".

"A government or a people who would like to defend themselves, it is very natural they will do their utmost to get weapons from whatever place possible," foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in a speech on the conflict in Gaza.

Israel accuses Iran of providing weapons to Hamas. Tehran says it provides financial, humanitarian and moral support and has condemned Israel's offensive in the Palestinian territory.

Mr Mottaki, who did not say Iran would itself offer arms, added that Israel's goals in Gaza had been to "wipe away the resistance and also to destroy the defensive capability of the resistance," in a clear to reference to Hamas.

"Resistance struggles around the world, those who struggle against colonialists, it is their right to defend themselves and to stand up to attacks by the enemy and to secure the release of their land, to continue with their struggle," Mr Mottaki said.

"And to do that it is their natural right to have access to weapons," Mottaki said in the speed broadcast live and translated into English.



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