Iranian President Mohammad Khatami says he hopes Iraq will abide by a U-N resolution on dismantling suspected weapons of mass destruction and that war can be averted.
The Iranian president made his remarks as he began a four-day visit to India, in which he will be chief guest at India's Republic Day celebration Sunday. He is scheduled to hold talks today (Saturday) with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on the Iraqi situation. At a news conference in India's presidential palace, Mr. Khatami said he hopes the Iraqi situation can be resolved in a peaceful way without war.
The Iranian leader warned against mis-using the war on terrorism - as he put it - to create an environment of war.
Thousands of extra police and paramilitary forces have been mobilized in New Delhi in the face of warnings that terrorists may stage attacks in the Indian capital during the Republic Day celebrations.
Security also has been boosted in Kashmir's winter capital, Jammu, where senior state officials including the Indian state's chief minister are to attend a Republic Day program.
New Delhi's police commissioner (S.K. Kain) cited intelligence reports that two militant groups - Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al-Badr - might try to disrupt Republic Day celebrations.