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6/18/03

Iranian MPs: US 'flogging a dead horse' in its bid to re-dominate Iran

US government is crushing water in a mortar by interfering in Iran's internal affairs in a bid to re-dominate it, 217 Iranian MPs said Tuesday in a letter, using a Persian idiom which roughly equals 'flogging a dead horse,' IRNA reported from Tehran.

US praise for recent unrest in the Islamic Republic following student protests to perceived privatization of universities has infuriated Iranian officials who have denounced it for constituting "blatant interference in Iran's internal affairs".

"America's record in dealing with Iran and the performance of its rulers with respect to the great Iranian people is filled with oppression, betrayals and crimes," the MPs said in a part of the letter, read at an open session of parliament.

"The American strategy with respect to Iran is to take away the country's independence, freedom and Islamic Republic which are the fruits of a massive Islamic and national movement and to relegate it again to an American slave in the region."

They cited US-engineered coup in 1953 to topple Mohammad Mosaddeq's popular government and reinstate shah as "signs of American animosity with the honorable and independent Iranian nation".

"The Muslim and aware Iranian nation fully understands America's reasons for enmity with the nation and the Islamic Republic which represents the people's will," the letter said.

"The Iranian nation will resist those governments which have been ignoring Iran's interests in breach of international laws and this is an irreversible policy," the MPs said in another part of the letter.

On Monday, Iran said it had sent an official protest to the United States over its flagrant interference in its internal affairs through hailing the riots.

"We sent an official note to the Americans through the Swiss embassy and objected to their actions," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a news conference.

Switzerland has been taking care of US interests in Iran since Washington severed ties with Tehran after Iranian students took US diplomats hostage during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher was cited as saying Thursday that "We applaud the Iranian people for calling attention to the destructive policies of the Iranian government, that do such a disservice to its population".

Asefi said "these statements contradict international norms".

Iranian leaders have already said that the demonstrations held by "a handful of individuals" were being orchestrated by Washington.

"The enemies openly support those adventurers who can become their mercenaries by disturbing people's security," Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a gathering of jubilant people in Varamin, south of Tehran Thursday.

The first unrest broke out last Tuesday following a peaceful gathering of students in protest to the alleged privatization of universities.

Sporadic troubles have continued over recent days in capital Tehran as well as central Isfahan, southern Shiraz and northwestern Tabriz.

According to media, police have arrested several people, including plain-clothes vigilantes who have reportedly assailed student dormitories and beaten up students.

On Saturday, a student association, affiliated to volunteer Basij militia, warned 'vigilantes' against attacking students and their residences and said such raids could lead to playing to the hands of enemies.

The association also hit out at the rioters, saying they were being incited by 'unknown hands and well-calculated suspicious currents' which, it said, sought to 'create riots by exploiting the sanctity of universities under the pretext of privatization'.

MPs blast international pressure on Iran over nuke energy program

A group of Iranian MPs have written a letter to President Mohammad Khatami to back the government's "principled and legitimate policy for peaceful use of nuclear energy" and condemn international pressure on Tehran over its nuclear energy program, IRNA reported from Tehran.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a messenger of peace and stability in the world, has always been a vigorous defendant of disarmament of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the world as well as the region," said 158 MPs in the letter, a copy of which was sent to IRNA Tuesday.

The letter came as the UN's nuclear watchdog agency braced to discuss Iran's nuclear energy programs at its 35-member Board of Governors in Vienna probably on Wednesday.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is committed to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful objectives," Majlis deputies said in a part of the letter.

"The Iranian government has signed the safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and has opened all its nuclear facilities for regular inspections," they added.

"The Iranian government believes that the human community must get rid of the WMD which have not only failed to create security in the world, but have led to insecurity and crisis," the MPs said in another part of the letter.

Washington claims that Iran intends to use its nuclear energy programs as a cover to build weapons of mass destruction.

Iran says its nuclear program is transparent and peaceful, aimed at producing 7,000 megawatts of electricity in the next 20 years when the country's oil and gas reserves become overstretched.

"As a generation, exploiting the limited resources of oil and gas, which will sooner or later run out, we feel responsible before the next generation since if we do not acquire the technology for nuclear energy, we will (run risk of) betraying the future generation," the MPs said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has called on Iran to sign an Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty which paves the way for impromptu visit of the country's nuclear plants by UN inspectors.

Iran has conditioned the signing to IAEA's lifting of the sanctions, which Tehran says, have kept the country from acquiring respective technology.

Over recent weeks, Iran has invited world countries, including US, to participate in the country's nuclear energy programs so as to verify the "peaceful" nature of the Islamic Republic's facilities.

... Payvand News - 6/18/03 ... --



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