President Khatami, who arrived for an official visit in Belarus on Thursday evening, made the remark at a meeting with the Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Belarus National Assembly Vadim Popov.
Referring to the Tehran-Minsk cooperation to fight practices labeled as "axis of evil" and terrorism in its different forms worldwide, President Khatami said he believes that injustice and discrimination were some of the reasons which led others to commit terrorism.
"Those who illegally occupy land belonging to others against international norms and those who fuel chaos and extremism worldwide are the main components of the axis of evil," said the president arguing that they try to deviate world public opinion from their own crimes by trying to find scapegoats.
The president further noted that Tehran and Minsk share common grievances and are both opposed to any form of occupation, war, factional fighting or disagreements which encourage more acts of evil throughout the world.
He added that the two countries should put their weight behind nations fighting to have their say in their own destinies as well as those who seek justice and defend peace and security in this world.
Noting that all countries of the region had a stake in the continued peace and security in a "sensitive region like the Middle East," President Khatami further noted that "crises and tensions in the region only serve the illegitimate interests of outsiders."
"The people of Iraq are now suffering because of the mistakes and failures of outsiders would came to their country on their own selfish agenda and who should bear the cost of their mistakes," said President Khatami.
"However," he noted, "the current problems in Iraq have shown that the occupation can no longer continue and the use of force has come to an end."
President Khatami further referred to the good relations between the Iranian and Belarussian parliaments in recent years, in particular, and expressed hope the road to progress and development for Tehran and Minsk would be short.
Popov, in return, said that the visit of President Khatami to Belarus constituted a "turning point" for bilateral relations, adding that the new documents for mutual cooperation signed by the two sides during his visit would lead to enhanced bilateral political and economic cooperation in the future.
Comparing Minsk with Tehran," the chairman said the two "oppose unilateralism and believe that countries which destructively label others as being part of an "axis of evil" are out to impose their own interests on these countries."
President Khatami is in Minsk on the second leg of a three-nation regional tour which started on Wednesday with a visit to Armenia. He will conclude his tour with a visit to Tajikistan.
The president's week-long tour is taking place upon the official invitations of President Robert Kocharian of Armenia, Aleksandr Lukashenka of Belarus and Emomali Rakhmonov of Tajikistan.
... Payvand News - 9/11/04 ... --