Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Iran’s Khamenei attacks Bush, rules out “any retreat” on nukes
Tehran, Iran, Mar. 14 -
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the country's foreign minister and diplomats on Tuesday that any retreat on the nuclear issue would “break” the Islamic Republic’s independence and would entail “a huge cost” for the Iranian people. “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that any retreat over the nuclear issue, which is the great demand of the nation and the natural right of our people, as breaking the country's independence, and this would entail a huge cost for the Iranian nation”, the official news agency IRNA quoted Ayatollah Khamenei as telling members of Iran’s diplomatic service.“Any retreat will, under the present circumstances, bring with it an unending chain of pressures and more retreats. It is therefore clear that this path is irreversible and our foreign policy establishment must courageously defend this right”, Khamenei said.Iran’s Supreme Leader reacted sharply to recent remarks by U.S. President George W. Bush, who expressed support for Iranians who seek to bring democracy to their country.“If there a place with no democracy, it’s America”, the ayatollah said. “A small minority of capitalists, who are mainly Zionist, pull all the strings in elections and the people’s vote has no impact”.“This Mr. George W. Bush himself has been elected through fraud”, Khamenei said, while attacking Bush for “his illegal acts, including his orders for tapping the telephone conversations of Americans, his weak standing in the opinion polls in America, and the censorship of news in that country”.Khamenei repeated the charge that “there are indications and intelligence showing that the intelligence services of America and the Zionist regime are behind the assassinations and bombings in Iraq”.“As for America and some of the countries that tow the American line, their principal motive in trying to prevent Iran’s acquisition of its natural and scientific right is that they are frightened that Iran would reach the pinnacle of scientific power”, he added.Khamenei’s comments once again backed those of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly vowed to reject international pressure to accept the demands of the International Atomic Energy Agency.In the meeting with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, senior Foreign Ministry officials, and members of the country’s diplomatic service, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Those who represent the Islamic Republic of Iran abroad must ensure that our national rights are safeguarded and that they truly embody the steadfastness, dignity, and wisdom of the Iranian nation”.“The fact that the Muslim world is now feeling a sense of identity and Islamic dignity is attributable to the victory of the Islamic revolution, and one of the most important elements of Iran’s national power. This must be emphatically noted in Iran’s international relations”, the ayatollah said.Khamenei ridiculed “those who make propaganda and say that Iran was hiding [its nuclear project], because no country declares its scientific work while it’s at the research stage”.In August 2002, the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran exposed, for the first time, key nuclear sites that Iran had built secretly in Natanz and Arak. The revelation led to the international scrutiny that finally culminated in Iran’s nuclear dossier being sent to the UN Security Council for a decision.Iran’s Supreme Leader said Western governments “were put to shame by remaining silent when the Zionist regime threatened to assassinate the head of the elected government of the Palestinian people”.Knowledgeable sources in Tehran said the government has summoned its ambassadors and envoys from across the world to brief them on a fresh diplomatic offensive to “counter the poisonous Western propaganda” against Iran.