London, Nov 2, IRNA-The US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not only a "great mistake" but also brought a new kind of terrorism, said former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami.
"Not only were they not able to stop terrorism or eradicate it in these two countries, but they also introduced a new kind of terrorism in the Middle East and in Islamic countries," Khatami said.
"Whatever they are taking out of Iraq is just dead bodies of their loved ones," he told the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London Wednesday evening.
Khatami, who is now director of the International Foundation for Dialogue among Civilizations, said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has bee a "great mistake committed by the Americans." With spiralling violence in both countries, the US has been defeated in its so-called "war on terror," he said as he responded to queries after delivering a speech on the subject of tolerance, moderation and dialogue among civilizations.
The former Iranian president criticized attempts by US President George W Bush to impose a Western-style government in the Middle East, saying democracy is not a "one-size-fits-all" proposition.
One of the biggest jokes said about Mr Bush is his statement that he "wants to export democracy to the Middle East," Khatami said.
"Democracy is not something to be exported or given," he told the RIIA, also known as Chatham House.
Khatami suggested that in contrast to Bush's idea, democracy needed to be tailored to the social, historical, cultural and religious make-up of individual nations.
"Historically, human affairs depend on social conditions and experience. The experience of one country, one nation, cannot be extended to another geographical area with a different culture and conditions," he said.
The former Iranian president started a five-day visit to the UK Tuesday, when he was presented with an honorary doctorate of laws by St Andrews University in Scotland in recognition of his efforts to encourage inter-faith dialogue.
During his visit, he will meet with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and hold talks with other bishops in the House of Lords.
Khatami is also due to speak at Oxford University, west of London, and hold discussions with British Muslims leaders as well as meet members of the Iranian community.
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