Tehran, Dec 9, IRNA - Iran's former President Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here on Tuesday dismissed the US "carrot and stick" policy in connection with Tehran's peaceful nuclear program.
"Iranian nation and government neither want the US incentives nor sanctions because they (the tactics) will prevent the country treading the path to peaceful use of nuclear energy and science," said Ayatollah Rafsanjani in his sermons to `Eid Qurban' (Feast of Sacrifice) congregational prayers in reaction to the US President-elect Barack Obama's recent Iran remarks.
In an interview broadcast on Sunday, Obama vowed "tough but direct diplomacy" with Iran, offering incentives along with the threat of tougher sanctions over its peaceful nuclear program.
The Experts Assembly Head and the Expediency Council Chairman said Obama's preconditions for talks with Iran are "meaningless." "For 30 years you have been calling for talks with us and we refused. Now, you lay tough conditions to make us talk with you? Have you forgotten the time when the US hostages were in Iran and your envoys came (here) for talks to secure their (the hostages') release and the late Imam (Khomeini) in Qum ordered (the envoys) to return? Have you forgotten (former US National Security Advisor) Mr. (Robert C.) McFarlane coming to Iran with an Irish passport and our officials declined to talk with him and the second and third grade directors talked with him instead? We are the ones who should call for talks with you.
"We do not expect a person, considering himself representative of the African continent and of the oppressed US blacks, to parrot others such as (the outgoing US President George W.) Bush. We do not wish to quarrel with the US or go into war and fighting with it. We want to defend our right to benefit from global sciences and technology and stand on our own feet."
Addressing the US statesmen and President-Elect, Ayatollah Rafsanjani said, "You are advised to take a right course, acknowledge to Iran's right and not to deny Iranians' rights. Let Iran, as an exemplary independent Muslim state, stand on its feet and serve as model of independence and freedom for other countries."
He said Iran's revolutionary and Islamic ideology and stances are the main reason for the US opposition with the country. "Such issues as human rights, terrorism and nuclear are mere pretexts," he added.
He also dismissed the US President-Elect's claims that Iran wants access to nuclear bombs and is supporter of terrorists.
"The terrorists they claim are Hizbollah and Hamas. Hizbollah is a resistance force in Lebanon which has rid people of the country of Israel's occupation and Hamas too is representative of the world's most oppressed people (Palestinians), who defend themselves.
Are these terrorists?" questioned Rafsanjani, adding, "Terrorists are either those coming from overseas to the region and have put people there in misery or their agents in Israel which has come into existence and formed through terror."
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