Iran News ...


1/31/03

Karroubi condemns Bush's interfering statements on Iran

Tehran, Jan 31, IRNA -- Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi here Thursday hit out at US President George W. Bush's "weird" allegations against Iran, saying they constituted interference in the Islamic Republic's internal affairs.

Bush said during his State of the Union address Tuesday night that "in Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror".

"The statements of the American president constitute an official interference in our country and this is not acceptable by any nation and government since it is condemned and the world blames interfering (busybodies)," Karroubi said during a parliament session.

"Bush has claimed that the Iranian nation does not determine its own destiny. These remarks are weird and I wonder if the noble American nation does not feel humiliated and reprimanded because of their president's statements," he added.

"How come the people who cast 22 million ballots for their president do not elect him and Bush who has become a president under the American judiciary's coercion ... is considered elected," the parliament speaker said.

Karroubi lashed out at another part of Bush's statements that "Iranians, like all people, have a right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny, and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom".

"I am confident that the loyalists of the Islamic Republic detest these remarks and do not accept them. Those who are meant by Bush are a few self-abandoned individuals who have no place among the Iranian nation and America wastes its money on them," he said.

Karroubi said "Iranians will answer Bush with their lively turnout at the ballot boxes during city council elections" which are planned for February 28.

"The Iranian nation takes its steps firmly in the framework which has been drawn out by the late Imam (Khomeini) and the Constitution," he said.

The parliament speaker renewed Tehran's overtures to Washington to change its approach towards the Islamic Republic if it sought to normalize ties which have remained frozen since 1979.

"If America wants to change its approach, it has to take up a rational policy and tumble down the wall of distrust (with Iran)," Karroubi said.

The Islamic Republic has now built a "bright and good" image in the world, thanks to its policy of detente and the country's efforts to establish peace in the world and the region, he added.

"Iran seeks a policy of peace and stability in the world as well as the region. In addition to maintaining the country's independence and identity, Iran also calls for detente and non-violence in international relations and respects the rights of citizens in the framework of each country's rules and traditions," Karroubi said.

The cleric also slammed Washington for remaining silent in the face of the Zionist Israeli atrocities against "Palestinian children, youth and elderly".

"The Palestinian Muslims are being killed in the most tragic and ruthless manner and the acts of the Zionist regime are even protested by the Jewish diaspora around the world, but America rules them out as amounting to mass destruction.

"This is while America regards Iran, which is regularly inspected by international (arms) inspectors, terrorist and accuses it of pursuing weapons of mass destruction," Karroubi added.

Former judiciary chief slams Bush's "arrogant remarks" on Iran

Tehran, Jan 31, IRNA -- Iran's former judiciary chief, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, here Friday stormed at "arrogant statements" of US President George W. Bush during his State of the Union address Tuesday night, in which he accused the Islamic Republic of pursuing weapons of mass destruction and repressing its people.

"He (George Bush) accuses Iran of pursuing weapons of mass destruction. I am asking him if he believes in international organizations. He seems he does not," the senior cleric told worshipers at weekly Friday prayers.

"The official international inspection organizations have come to Iran and confirmed that our plants are being built for civilian intentions. While they have said this how could you dare to accuse us," Ayatollah Yazdi said, addressing the US president.

"I hope the international courts of justice will stand up one day and bring (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon and Bush and the likes of them to dock on charges of genocide and other crimes, including their accusations against independent countries," he added.

"Bush's last sentence was also insulting to the nation. He has said that 'Iranians must have a right to determine their own destiny and that America defends their aspirations to live in freedom'.

"Who says the Iranian people do not have the right to choose. No other country has held so many elections as Iran. On average, we have held two elections each year (since the 1979 Islamic Revolution) and four-fifth of the qualified electorate have participated in them.

"Mr. Bush! I am asking you; how did you become president? Have you forgotten that the American judiciary helped you to become the US president?," the cleric said.

Ayatollah Yazdi also hit out at Bush's allegations of human rights violations and repression in the Islamic Republic.

"The trial of subversive elements and those who sell military information to the aliens and the closure of the newspapers which publish insulting material are not human rights violations," he said.

"What do you mean by human rights violations? Do you mean to let one do whatever he wants or say whatever he likes? Do you want us to respect human rights at the cost of letting some people topple our Islamic government?," the cleric asked.

"How much have you violated the rights of your own people, including the immigrants and Muslims, in the name of fighting terrorism?," Ayatollah Yazdi said, addressing President Bush again.

The Iranian official was referring to recent measures of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in arresting male Middle Eastern immigrants, including many Iranians, in California and other states under the new anti-terror move.

The cleric also wrote off those few Iranians who "flash green lights" to aliens under the illusion that the country may return to the time of former deposed Shah, saying "they must know that the Islamic Republic will never become a colony again".

"I declare on Bush and the likes of him in any alien nation that they have to take these whims out of their minds since real Iranians are ... those who attend Friday prayers, (Islamic) demonstrations and mourning ceremonies," he added.

... Payvand News - 1/31/03 ... --



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