Tehran, 29 Dec. (AKI) - The Iranian government will set aside funds in its next annual budget to prevent what it says are "American plots" against the Islamic Republic and "foreign interference" in the country's internal affairs, the office of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said. The budget will be introduced at the start of the new financial year on 21 March, 2006. The presidential office's statement did not say how much money would be allocated to the two initiatives.

Instead it also said that Iran would "assist all those citizens who decide to sue the United States government, "in particular victims of the chemical bombs used by the Iraqis" - a reference to bombs used by Saddam Hussein's military during the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war.

Iran has repeatedly accused the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain of supplying Saddam with chemicals used in the manufacture of those bombs.