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Iran denies harboring bin Laden family

By MODHER AMIN

TEHRAN, March 5 (UPI) -- Iran on Wednesday rejected a report that it had been harboring al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's wives and children.

"There is no room for terrorists in our country and if anybody crosses our borders illegally, we would deliver them to the countries of origin," said Iranian government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh.

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Time magazine on Tuesday cited unidentified Pakistani intelligence sources as saying Iran's "zealously anti-American Revolutionary Guards" had probably given shelter to four wives and more than 12 children of bin Laden at a time the United States was hunting him down in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The United States holds bin Laden responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington that killed almost 3,000 people.

The Iranian official called for submission of evidence or proof to Iran's Ministry of Information that there was anybody in the country with links to al Qaida or the Taliban. He added that his country was ready to take speedy action against anybody involved in subversive activities in Iran.

The most-wanted man, bin Laden, who Washington believes is still alive, is said to have more than 20 sons by several wives.

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Having repeatedly rejected U.S. accusations that it had given shelters to members of al-Qaida, Iran admitted earlier it had arrested and expelled more than 250 members of the network since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The Iranian officials often talk of the difficulties they are facing in monitoring the country's long porous borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In February, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi dismissed as "baseless" reports that bin Laden's son was in Iran

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