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Iranian FM spokesman: Bush's remarks beneath the dignity of a president

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said on Wednesday that US President George Bush's recent remarks in his speech at NATO summit in Istanbul on the Islamic Republic were beneath the dignity of a president, IRNA reported from Tehran.

"Mr Bush should not forget that he became US president upon a court ruling and he has been under fire in recent months due to his unilateralism or in other words his authoritarian manner," Asefi said.

He has reached a point that many US academics as well as some scientific circles have warned him against the consequences of his undemocratic and authoritarian behaviors, Asefi added.

Bush made such comments due to his disappointment at repeated failures and fury.

Asefi's comments came after the US president claimed in his speech to the recently-concluded NATO summit in Istanbul that Iran was trying to develop weapons of mass destruction and spread terrorism around the world. He also described Iran as a "threat to world peace."

Rafsanjani terms US', big powers' accusations as baseless

Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Tehran on Wednesday the accusations made by the United States and big powers against Iran's peaceful nuclear activities has no basis in fact.

Addressing an ongoing seminar to assess the destructive consequences of the use of chemicals and other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), Rafsanjani said the issues raised by the big powers against Iran's nuclear programs are stifling the country's efforts to acquire needed scientific and technical knowhow.

"Iran is itself a victim of chemical weapons. Those who accuse us of trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction are themselves guilty of the offense and are just looking for a scapegoat."

He further said that the enemies of the Islamic Revolution and those who cannot accept the success of the Islamic Republic are simply using the nuclear issue to tarnish the image of the country. He criticized the destructive weapons competition between the US and the big powers.

"Undoubtedly, chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, as with modern industrial and technical innovations, have their origin in the West," he stressed.

The EC chairman further lashed out at the "deadly silence" of world powers and human rights organizations towards the use of chemical weapons by the former Ba'ath regime of Saddam against Iranian soldiers, stressing the need to expose the double standards of those who claim to be defenders of human rights.

"The world powers gave the greenlight to the enemies of the Islamic fighters and encouraged Saddam's regime in its crimes against us," Rafsanjani said, adding that it was the big powers that armed Saddam with dangerous weapons to commit his crimes.

He said that all the research that have been conducted so far on how to cope or deal with the consequences of chemical weapons have proved inadequate, and called on researchers to conduct more scientific studies on this vital subject.

He recalled a project wherein Iranian scientists were to study the consequences of chemical weapons and offer the knowledge gained to help victims of weapons of mass destruction.

He stressed that seminars of this kind which aim to expose the disastrous consequences of using WMDs need to take into account the legal and political aspects of the issue in their research.

... Payvand News - 6/30/04 ... --

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