Iran News ...


Iran: Khatami says all peace seeking states should help end war

President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran on Tuesday that all peace seeking countries are required to contribute to a speedy end to the ongoing war in the region and resumption of the impaired role of the UN, as the backbone of world peace and security, IRNA reported.

President Khatami in a meeting with new Norwegian Ambassador to Tehran Ole Kristian Holthe also underlined the need to prevent imposition of an alien government on Iraq.

He also stressed the need for swift establishment of ceasefire and forcing invaders to abide by UN and international regulations.

He said Iraqi people should decide their own destiny.

The president appreciated the stance of many European states vis-a-vis Iraqi crisis and said unfortunately, certain powers are not ready to heed the call of well wishers and of the world public opinion.

He said oppressed Iraqi nation and the soldiers dispatched to the region as a result of a wrong decision are all victims of the ongoing war.

He added that interests in future of human beings necessitate opposition to war and terror by all countries.

President Khatami said Iran's opposition to the start and the continuation of war in the region does not mean support for Iraqi regime, rather it is opposition to the wrong precedence of imposition of super powers' wishes through force and debilitating international organizations such as the UN.

He said Iranian government and nation pursue development and progress, saying the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes all-out expansion of relations with Europe, including Norway.

Holthe submitted his credentials to President Khatami and conveyed the Norwegian king's wishes to President Khatami, underlining expansion of Tehran-Oslo economic and cultural ties and promotion of mutual cooperation in the field of energy.

He said Iran and Norway, as two countries sharing many interests, should strive for promotion of the UN objectives of peace, security and better welfare for the world nations.

He highlighted President Khatami's dialogue among civilizations' initiative.

President Khatami told new Serbian Ambassador to Tehran Guran Opacic that peaceful co-existence of ethnic groups, removal of discrimination and restoration of minorities' rights would guarantee security, stability and progress in the sensitive Balkan region.

He said Balkan region should be built by regional people themselves and without foreign interference.

He added that unfortunately, the world burns in flames of an unwanted war and a dangerous phenomenon underway in international system, under which anybody, who is more powerful, feels that it has the right to and can interfere in others' affairs.

He expressed dissatisfaction with oppressed Iraqi nation and the soldiers who have been dispatched to the region per wrong demand of powers. He said that fortunately, public conscience has never been opposed to terror, war and violence as it is today.

He condemned assassination of Serbian prime minister and said such brutal actions would not affect will of nations to attain their objectives.

Khatami, receiving credentials of Opacic, called for expansion of Iran-Serbia ties.

Opacic called for expansion of Iran-Serbia ties, particularly in economic and cultural spheres, saying his country opposes settlement of Iraqi problem through force.

Iranian defense ministry warns of "very dangerous" war fallout

Iranian defense ministry Tuesday warned against "very dangerous" consequences of the US-led strike on Iraq and urged the world community and "peace loving governments" to ratchet up their efforts to immediately stop the "illegitimate, immoral and destructive war".

"The war for oil which is ongoing in Iraq will not guarantee the two hostile sides' interests and will instead plunge the region and the world into an insecure swamp," it said in a statement, a copy of which was made available to IRNA.

"Establishing democracy through military aggression is a failed policy and contrary to the international principles," it said, adding "the only decisive factor in determining Iraq's fate is the will of that country's people".

The ministry also urged a massive turnout in Friday's anti-war demonstrations throughout Iran.

The Islamic Republic has strongly condemned the US-led invasion of Iraq. Iran, which fought an imposed war between 1980 and 1988 with Iraq -- then a close American ally -- has taken a position of "active neutrality" and reiterated that it will not back one side or the other in the US-led war.

At least three projectiles have landed in the Iranian territory since the war began last Wednesday and Tehran has blamed both the coalition and Iraq for the attacks.

US and British officials have speculated that the missiles had been fired by Iraq. Washington has said it took Iranian territorial integrity and sovereignty very seriously" and vowed to investigate where the missiles came from.

On Tuesday, the British Embassy in Iran said that the apparently stray missile which hit an oil refinery depot in southwest Abadan last Friday was "most likely the result of Iraqi action".

"The UK Ministry of Defense have looked into this incident and made this conclusion on the basis of the information available and given the disposition of coalition and Iraqi forces in the region at the time," it said in a news release sent to IRNA.

Over 700 stage anti-war rally in Iran's Ahwaz

Over 700 people in Ahwaz, in southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan, staged a rally Monday afternoon against the US-British war on Iraq, IRNA reported.

The demonstrators, chanting slogans such as "Death to America", "Death to Israel", and "Death to Britain", gathered in front of the city's religious seminary to voice anger at US campaign against Iraq.

The Ahwaz interim Friday prayers leader, Hojjatoleslam Mohsen Heydari, in a speech, said Iranians had a "religious duty" to sympathize with the Iraqi nation whom he said "are being perished by the brutal bombardments of the Global Arrogance of the US".

"All the people around the world know that the US has illegally attacked Iraq, and that it is pursuing evil goals in the region," he said.

"The US is merely seeking to force the Islamic Iran to surrender and to dominate the Iraqi oil reserves, the Islamic Ummah, and the Persian Gulf region through its war on Iraq."

Also, the Commander of Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) of Ahwaz, Reza Mirzadeh, said the fact that over 160 countries had burned the US flag in protest to the country's war on Iraq was a sign that the collapse of the superpower is near.

"There is no doubt that all Muslim nations can resort to Islam and withstand the aggression of the greatest powers, the most notable of them being the US," Mirzadeh said.

Three explosions inside Iraq rock southwestern Iranian town

Three explosions inside Iraq rocked Monday the city of 'Rafie' in 'Dashte Azadegan' in southwestern Iran frightening its residents.

Several of the town's residents told IRNA that the explosions were caused by US or British planes' missiles.

The US-Iraqi freighting has been heard on the border area of Bostan in the past few days.

On Friday, an Iranian oil depot in the southwestern city of Abadan was hit by a rocket fired from an American plane, the city's governor Jamal Alemi said.

Three people, including a guard of the depot, were injured in the attack, he said, adding the injured were taken to hospital.

The rocket caused a strong boom and panic among citizens who rushed out of their homes in panic, a police official in Abadan said.

Iran, which fought an imposed war between 1980 and 1988 with Iraq -- then a close American ally -- has reiterated that it will not back one side or another in the US-led war.

The Islamic Republic, however, has strongly condemned the invasion.

... Payvand News - 3/25/03 ... --

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