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    TEHERAN, April 9 (RIA Novosti) - Former President of Iran Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, chairman of the Council on the Expediency of Decisions Adopted of the Islamic Republic of Iran and one of the foremost hierarchs of Shi'a Muslims, has censured the United States for its policy in Iraq, which has led to the worsening of the situation there.

    "The strategy of the United States in Iraq, pursuing the goals of protecting the interests of Israel and creating a base for influence on the oil market in the region, has led to the worsening of the situation on the Iraqi territory and the growth of tension", Rafsanjani said during the Friday prayer.

    "Despite Washington's slogans of combating international terrorism, it cannot be said that the White House is seeking to eradicate terrorism. Groupings of Al-Qaeda and the Afghan radical movement Taliban, earlier armed by the Americans, continue their doings and the Mujaheddin-e Halk-e Iran organisation (the Mujaheddin Organisation of the People of Iran, aimed at overthrowing the present Islamic regime in Iran), operating under the Saddam Hussain regime in the territory of Iraq, is now enjoying the support of the Americans", he said.

    "Making use of its erroneous position-of-strength policy, the United States has got bogged down in a morass and is to take steps to work out a strategy to get out of it", said one of the persons close to the Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali-Hamenei.

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