Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Monday
confirmed bombing threats made by al-Qaeda against Iran to avenge what
has been rumored as Tehran having given tips to capture former Iraqi
dictator Saddam Hussein, IRNA reported from Tehran.
"Iran has always been a victim of terrorism, especially posed by
al-Qaeda," he told reporters here on the fringes of an international
conference on the challenges facing the Islamic world.
Kharrazi said the Islamic Republic 'will take any necessary step
to protect the country's security'.
Tehran is still reeling from a destructive war between 1980 and
1988, imposed under Saddam and marked by the Baath regime blatantly
using chemical and biological weapons against Iranians as well as the
"Saddam, with his actions and aggression, trampled the rights of
the Iraqi, Iranian and Kuwaiti nations," Kharrazi said, referring to
the 1990 invasion of the tiny sheikdom, which led to the first Persian
Gulf war of 1991.
The Iranian foreign minister said it was up to the Iraqi people to
decide how and where to try Saddam for his crimes against humanity.
Asked to comment on a protocol which Iran signed recently to open
its nuclear sites to unannounced inspections of UN inspectors,
Kharrazi said, "Iran has fulfilled its commitments over joining the
Additional Protocol and honoring it; it is now the European countries'
turn to live to their commitments."
Iran apparently received assurances from Europe during the visit
of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and his French and German
counterparts Dominique de Villepin and Joschka Fischer to Tehran in
October that prompted the country to sign up to an unfettered
inspections of its nuclear facilities.
Tehran is under a de facto nuclear embargo, which bans the sale of
nuclear know-how, including goods with double use, to the Islamic
On Sunday, Iran sent a veiled warning to Europe to meet its
pledges towards Tehran.
"The Islamic Republic has not given any body a signed blank check;
like what we did, the global community, especially Europe, must take
steps for necessary facilities for Iran's legitimate use (of the
nuclear technology)," Foreign Ministry spokesman said at a weekly news
Kharrazi also renewed Iran's denunciation of unilateral US
sanctions against the Islamic Republic as well as Washington's
free-wheeling policies regarding international terrorism.
"Sanctions are not effective tools against countries; they are
politically-motivated," he said, adding "America is acting in a
discriminatory fashion in dealing with world countries".
"America believes in the policy of 'you are either with us or
against us'. This is a wrong policy.
"America must respect the beliefs, expediency and national
interests of all countries in order to take steps for more cooperation
(of world countries)," he added.
Kharrazi also poured scorn at a decision taken by the French
government to ban Muslim girls from wearing hijab at school.
"Hijab is the symbol of women's chastity; any prevention in this
regard amounts to ignoring human rights," he said.
"It is surprising that Europe, which boasts of respecting human
rights, is resisting hijab as the primary right of Muslim women,"
... Payvand News - 12/22/03 ... --