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Iran FM spokesman criticizes US anti-Iran remarks as sign of "deep animosity"

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said in Tehran on Monday lashed out at the recent remarks by certain US officials on the possibility of a military attack against Iran, stressing that the remarks signified Washington's deep animosity toward Tehran, IRNA reported.

Asefi told reporters in a regular briefing that these remarks signify a literature which is not acceptable to Iran neither to any other country, stressing that Iran stands ready to defend its interests.

"The issue of taking a military action against Iran is raised by a very hardline and extremist minority in the US. However, this mentality has no advocate in the world, and not even in the US," he said.

US senator Sam Brownback on Sunday said that the US has not ruled out military action against Iran if necessary.

Brownback's remarks follow those by John Bolton, a leading member of the US administration, on Saturday to the effect that Washington reserves the right to use military action to stop Iran from pursuing its alleged nuclear weapons programs.

Asefi said US officials are making comments on the current state of the affairs in Iran using limited and inappropriate data, stressing that Tehran never accepts such adventurous and interfering positions.

"This is just like when a country supports the incidents in the US state of Michigan, and tries to manipulate the American public opinion in that connection," he said in reference to reaction by certain US officials toward the recent student rallies in Iran.

"It is natural that in a democratic country, students call for their demands to be materialized. We are proud that we are living in a democratic country that derives its mandate from people," he said.

A brief meeting by students at Tehran University's dorm to protest the alleged privatization of universities turned into an angry rally last Tuesday that was followed by several days of late evening demonstrations.

Tehran police chief Brigadier General Morteza Talaie said on Saturday that maximum security had been restored, stressing that no security problem was troubling the country and that the society remains now at the peak of being secure.

Asefi said the students have separated themselves from those who were trying to push forward their aspirations through uncivil approaches and were seeking to misuse the demands of the students.

"The Islamic establishment has decided to seriously confront the wayward groups and any movement with whatever inclination that tries to act according to unconstitutional ways," he said.

"The issues must be followed up through constitutional means."

Asefi said the US officials are uselessly trying to misuse Iran's internal developments, such as the student unrest, for their own benefit.

"The world is still waiting for the White House to explain on its claims regarding the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and to apologize for having created Al-Qaeda. However, none of these has been so far carried out," the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Powell says US encouraging a churning within Iranian population

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday that Washington is encouraging a churning within Iranian population, IRNA reported from Amman, Jordan.

"We are watching what is happening within the country, the churning that's taking place within the population and we have to provide encouragement and support to those who are seeking the right to speak out," Powell said at a session of a World Economic Forum (WEF) at Dead Sea, Jordan.

"But for some to go beyond that and say the United States is getting ready for something aggressive or looking for another place to have a conflict, it is absolutely wrong."

In Tehran, member of Parliament Peyman Ashuri on Sunday called on the US not to interrelate its agenda with the democratic demands of the Iranian people.

He said that the US always served the interests of those who seized power by instigating them to suppress the people through suspicious actions overlooking the resolve of the people for their democratic rights.

Iranian nation's interest is totally separate from that of the United States and that was the reason why the people kicked out the US-backed Pahlavi regime from Iran 24 years ago.

It is a distinct reactionary mindset to seek the interests as in the past through the same kind of intervention.

The United States engineered a military coup in 1953 to topple the nationalist government of Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq.

... Payvand News - 6/23/03 ... --

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