Iran News ...


4/18/03

Iran hopes peace will prevail: Khatami

President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran on Friday that Iran seeks establishment of peace in the region and the world, IRNA reported.

Speaking at a gathering to celebrate Iran's Army Day at the mausoleum of the late Imam Khomeini, Khatami stressed this invitation for peace is emanating from power and not the weakness.

"Today, the Iranian people and armed forces of the Islamic Republic are powerful and invite the world to the (establishment) of peace from their standpoint of power," the head of Supreme Council of National Security said.

"We seek a world with no weapons of mass destruction," Khatami said, adding "Our sensitive region must be free from such weapons through the contribution of all regional countries."

He termed the armed forces as the backbone of national security and defenders of Iranian people's dignity and interests, and said, "The honorable armed forces of the Islamic Republic are always prepared to defend against any aggression with no intention of attacking others."

Pointing to current developments and insecurity in the region and the world, Khatami said that current insecurity is rooted in oppression and bullying of tyrant powers as well as poverty, ignorance and dependence of several countries.

Referring to the Iraqi crisis, he added the world and the Iranian nation are currently witnessing the bitter and unpleasant events in the region and the neighboring country.

President Khatami reiterated that the Saddam regime must be blamed for the crimes he has committed against the Iraqi people and regional nations.

"Saddam has inflicted heavy damages on the region through the support of foreigners and gave them a clear pretext to come to the region and the Persian Gulf, which I believe is Saddam's worst sin," Khatami said.

Saddam gave foreigners a pretext to launch a military attack against Iraq and its nation, he added.

He stressed the Iraqi people must be able to determine their fate on their own and said, "Iran seeks a popular government in Iraq, a government that has the capacity to free our region from tension in cooperation with other countries and nations."

The president noted that Iran's armed forces stood against all powers during the Holy Defense period and are currently well prepared to defend the country.

He said progress of any country and nation depends on security, saying security for a society means the capacity to ward off threatening factors and to prevent the harmful factors from turning into threatening ones.

Khatami noted internal security depends on solidarity among all members of a society and nation, and this needs common religious and cultural identity as well as common goals and interests.

Head of Supreme Council of National Security added the external security also depends on a capable and powerful society, a society that uses power and strength to reach common interests with other nations and not to weaken others.

"The Iranian nation has launched their movement towards independence and freedom based on their faith and common goals, and favors independence, freedom and progress in accordance with their religious belief," he said.

... Payvand News - 4/18/03 ... --



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