Iran News ...


Referendum on Iran-US ties senseless: Khatami

President Mohammad Khatami stressed in Tehran on Wednesday referendum is irrelevant in foreign relations, IRNA reported.

"Referendum is a principle of the Constitution. National interests must be observed," said President Khatami in a press conference. "It is an expert task and the decision-making bodies are known to all," he said.

"Any decision we take must be acceptable to the (Iranian) nation and we should let them know our decisions," the president said.

Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was quoted recently as saying in an interview that Iran's resumption of ties with the US could be put to a referendum.

Pointing to bilateral relations between Iran and the United States, Khatami said, "We are never in favor of tension. The US behaved very badly with Iran and if we feel this trend has changed, a new chapter may open for taking strides toward a better direction."

"If the United States adopts a peaceful approach, respecting (world) nations, it will serve its long-term interests. The US nation's capabilities can contribute to peace and progress of the human society," Khatami noted.

He expressed hope the US nation would be aware of the fact that the policies of their government would first harm themselves.

He termed Iran's policy of detente as "completely successful" and said, "I hope this policy would continue in the future to handle the state affairs successfully, and to safeguard national interests of Iran."

Khatami rejects US allegations against Iran as baseless

President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday condemned the recent US allegations against Syria and Iran, stressing that such measures were against Washington's interests.

Khatami, speaking in a news conference, called those allegations as baseless, and expressed hope the US stances against Tehran and Damascus remain to be a propaganda.

"We reject the US charges against ourselves as they have no documented proof to verify their claims...and I believe this is the position of Syria, as well," he said.

"Still, we advise US leaders to stop such threats, and we hope that no incident would happen."

President Khatami was referring to the Monday remarks by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who accused Syria of carrying out tests on chemical weapons and of harboring Iraqi leaders that have taken refuge into the country from the US-British campaign against Baghdad.

The Iranian president further rejected speculations that the US campaign against terrorism might include Syria soon, stressing that Washington currently "does not have the ability" to attack Syria.

Still, Khatami added, the world public opinion will resist the recurrence of what happened in Iraq.

"Syria is different from Iraq. We support Syria given that it is in the front line against the pressures by the Zionists, and that it protects the aspirations of the Palestinian people," he said.

"However, this never means that we will enter a military confrontation with the US."

Khatami further rejected that Iran's policy of detente was frustrated in the prevailing world situation, stressing that this policy had never addressed the US.

"Iran has never welcomed a tension with the US, and if there has ever been a certain tension between the two countries, it has always been the US that has welcomed it," he said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian president advised the US leaders to leave Iraq as soon as possible, and highlighted the right of the Iraqi people to self-determination.

He said the Islamic Republic condemns the US-British aggression against Iraq, stressing though that this should never be interpreted as Tehran's support for the Baghdad regime.

"We have suffered a lot from the regime of Saddam Hussein," Khatami said.

"But that a world power seeks to impose its own will on others relying on its modern warfare technology regardless of the role of the UN is also dangerous."

... Payvand News - 4/16/03 ... --

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