President Khatami says nations should not be punished in place of
Tehran, Sept 25, IRNA -- Iran's President Hojatoleslam Mohammad
Khatami told visiting British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw here
uesday that Iran fully understands the feelings of the Americans about
he terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11.
He said although the American administrations had been at best
indifferent about terrorist operations in Iran (since 1979) the
Iranians instead felt differently and had expressed their sympathetic
feelings with bereaved Americans in the tragic incidents in the two
Hojatoleslam Khatami said the Sept 11 incidents in New York and
Washington had tolled the bells for the world and alarmed the
humanity at large, and reminded that ill-wishers were out to exploit
the tragic incident as a reason for confrontation of civilizations and
cultures and to portray a truly peaceful Islam that has love for all
humans as being a phenomenon inherently against the West.
He said Iran, in the meanwhile, has repeatedly said that
catastrophes should not be responded by catastrophes.
President Khatami said with reference to the terrorist attacks in
the U.S. on September 11 that even though adequate evidence in proof
f the criminality of one or a group of persons should be secured and
presented that will not warrant confrontation with innocent nations.
He said once the people responsible for the attacks have been singled
out beyond reasonable doubt the world governments would obviously be
ready to get tough with the criminals.
He reminded that any scheme (for the Persian Gulf region) and any
formula for that part of the world that should disregard Iran's due
share in the regional security would simply further complicate the
President Khatami said the September 11th. incidents in New York
and Washington should not be allowed to be connected with irrelevant
incidents in other parts of the world such as those in the occupied
He said the best competent forum to address the issue of terrorism
is the United Nations, and commented that the European Union and the
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) had a big role to play
in the fight against world terrorism.
Elsewhere in his meeting with the British envoy Khatami said Iran
is interested to develop closer relations with Britain, and observed
that both Iran and the British Government had to do everything
possible to make sure that negative judgments in the minds of the
Iranian people about Britain that had persisted from a remote past
would be for ever erased.
The British envoy said in response that President Khatami's
proposition of dialogue of civilizations and his proposal for an
assembly of leading religious authorities of the world and
representatives of present-day philosophers would certainly be a big
check against any eventual confrontation between Islam and the West.
He also commented that a global fight against poverty and
discrimination is the pre-requisite for a meaningful struggle
Jack Straw who arrived in Tehran Tuesday is the first British
Foreign Secretary to visit Tehran since the triumph on February 11,
1979 of the Islamic Revolution.
Khatami, Putin agreed on the need to uproot terrorism Tehran, Sept 25, IRNA -- Iranian and
Russian Presidents Seyed Mohammad Khatami and Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation
Monday surveyed the aftermaths of the terrorist attacks in US, stressing the need for
international cooperation in order to uproot terrorism. According to the presidential
office, President Khatami stressed that if terrorism is an ugly international phenomenon,
effective combat aimed at uprooting it, too, can neither be unilaterally led, nor hastily
conducted. The Iranian president called for an international fight against terrorism,
based on rationalism, and not revengeful sensationalism. President Khatami also repressed
serious concern over the lives of more civilians at stake, particularly the oppressed
Muslim nation of Afghanistan. Referring to the sensitive geo-political position of
Afghanistan, President Khatami noted that Tehran and Moscow share close viewpoints in the
issue, asking for broader ties between the two major regional countries. The Iranian
president also announced Iran's readiness to cooperate with Russia in international fight
against terrorism, and proposed more active presence of both countries in all regional
developments, particularly under the tough current conditions. President Putin agreed with
his Iranian counterpart's proposals in all regards, agreeing that it is the international
bodies that should lead the international campaign against terrorism and to mobilize all
counties in the world to address the issue effectively and collectively . Putin also
announced the Russian Federation's full will and readiness to cooperate with Iran in
bilateral fields, in addressing the regional issues and in international combat against
terrorism. The Russian president meanwhile emphasized that for his country, cooperation
with Iran in addressing the regional issues is of utmost importance and that it is one of
the priorities of Russia's foreign policy. NA/JB End