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Iran says US more threatening than Iraq, never wants US victory

Iran on Friday stressed that it never wants the US to succeed in the Iraq war, cautioning that it considers the US as more threatening than Iraq, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said the Islamic Republic is strongly against the ongoing war on Iraq, and voiced concern that the threats posed by the US to Iran are far greater than those by Saddam and the Baathist regime of Iraq.

"We never want the US to become victorious over Iraq, because the US is more dangerous (to us) than Iraq, as is viper to a scorpion and a pit to a hole," he said in an address to Tehran Friday prayers.

"This is our ideological position and our political experience."

Rafsanjani said Iran is neutral in the Iraq crisis from the military point of view, and that Tehran will not side with any of the conflicting parties.

However, he stressed, this never means that Iran will be indifferent toward the harm that are inflicted on the Iraqi nation as a result of the US war.

"No one can say Iran supports Iraq... On the other hand, we cannot be indifferent toward the fate of the Iraqi people and will defend them and their interests as far as possible," Rafsanjani said.

The former president of Iran further called on the US and Britain not to harm the Shiite Muslim shrines in Iraq's holy cities, warning them of "heavenly revenge".

Rafsanjani said the Shiites will never accept any insult to their sanctities and to provoke their sentiments, and cautioned that the Shiites as history has showed will humiliate the oppressors.

He said the "US dream castle of dignity" will be eventually ruined, and that Washington's hegemonic aspirations will trigger independent movements and will also develop terrorism.

Rafsanjani recalled the remarks by Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak that the war against Iraq would create "a hundred Bin Ladens" as a prudent political comment, stressing that the hatred which is resulted from the US-led invasion of Iraq would encourage the people to become terrorists.

He further said the US would never become victorious in the war against Iraq, warning that "many complicities" await the Americans after the war is over.

"The result of the US-led war on Iraq is no longer a victory... It would merely be the defeat of the Baathist regime, and the occupation of Iraq in real terms will never happen from now on," Rafsanjani said.

"Still, whether the Iraqi regime is removed or not, a very difficult future is awaiting the Americans for they have been got bogged down in a quagmire from which they cannot easily get out."

Rafsanjani said the US anti-Iraq campaign will be "registered as a big strategic and historical mistake in the dossier of the US Republicans".

Elsewhere in his remarks, the former president recalled the 23th anniversary of the US breaking off diplomatic relations with Iran on April 7, stressing that Washington had broken the ground to freeze tie despite Iran's liking.

"We never wanted to break our ties (with the US), but it was the US leaders who always broke the ground," Rafsanjani said.

"Breaking ties has never been our policy... We used to think that there is still room to work on (our relations with the US), and we still have the same belief... But it was always the US officials who were guilty".

He recalled the US support for the Iraqi regime to wage a war on Iran, their plotting military coups against the Iranian government, their acts of espionage through the "Den of Spies" (US Embassy), and their economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic as the cases by means of which Washington had contributed to the deterioration of Iran-US ties.

He said Iran has always been ready to start talks with the US under equal conditions, and provided that Washington abandons its "anti-Islamic and colonial" policies in the region.

Still, Rafsanjani said, it is regrettable to see that the US has never satisfied our prerequisite.

... Payvand News - 4/4/03 ... --

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