Source: Radio Zamaneh
A spokesman for the Iranian government is denying reports published by a
number of Iranian websites that the government has decided to send Foreign
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to the funeral service of former South African
president Nelson Mandela.
Former president Mohammad Khatami signing Mandela's memorial book at
the South African embassy in Tehran (photo by Mona Hoobehfekr,
The ceremony commemorating Mandela will take place on Tuesday December 10 at
a soccer stadium in Soweto.
The Keyhan daily, a prominent hardline voice in the Islamic Republic
establishment, blasted those who are calling for President Rohani to attend the
ceremony in person, writing: "They are trying to push Rohani toward meeting with
Obama." Keyhan has been a strong voice against the re-establishment of relations
with the United States.
Former president Mohammad Khatami has expressed his wish to attend the ceremony
honouring the South African leader. Khatami was barred from traveling abroad
during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency.
Nine prominent reformist figures in Iran issued a letter calling on Rohani to
try to clear the way for Khatami to attend tomorrow's ceremony.
The ceremony will be attended by more than 60 foreign leaders and dignitaries,
including Barack Obama and three former U.S. presidents, the leaders of France,
Brazil and Britain as well as Willem Alexander, the King of the Netherlands, and
Prince Philip of Spain.
... Payvand News - 12/10/13 ... --