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Iran says US more threatening than Iraq, never wants US victory

 Tehran, April 4, IRNA -- Iran on Friday stressed that it never wants  
the US to succeed in the Iraq war, cautioning that it considers the US
as more threatening than Iraq.                                        
    Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said the Islamic        
Republic is strongly against the ongoing war on Iraq, and voiced      
concern that the threats posed by the US to Iran are far greater      
than those by Saddam and the Baathist regime of Iraq.                 
    "We never want the US to become victorious over Iraq, because the 
US is more dangerous (to us) than Iraq, as is viper to a scorpion and 
a pit to a hole," he said in an address to Tehran Friday prayers.     
    "This is our ideological position and our political experience."  
     Rafsanjani said Iran is neutral in the Iraq crisis from the      
military point of view, and that Tehran will not side with any of the 
conflicting parties.                                                  
    However, he stressed, this never means that Iran will be          
indifferent toward the harm that are inflicted on the Iraqi nation as 
a result of the US war.                                               
    "No one can say Iran supports Iraq... On the other hand, we cannot
be indifferent toward the fate of the Iraqi people and will defend    
them and their interests as far as possible," Rafsanjani said.        
    The former president of Iran further called on the US and Britain 
not to harm the Shiite Muslim shrines in Iraq's holy cities, warning  
them of "heavenly revenge".                                           
    Rafsanjani said the Shiites will never accept any insult to their 
sanctities and to provoke their sentiments, and cautioned that the    
Shiites as history has showed will humiliate the oppressors.          
    He said the "US dream castle of dignity" will be eventually       
ruined, and that Washington's hegemonic aspirations will trigger      
independent movements and will also develop terrorism.                
    Rafsanjani recalled the remarks by Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak
that the war against Iraq would create "a hundred Bin Ladens" as a    
prudent political comment, stressing that the hatred which is resulted
from the US-led invasion of Iraq would encourage the people to become 
terrorists.                                                           
   He further said the US would never become victorious in the war    
against Iraq, warning that "many complicities" await the Americans    
after the war is over.                                                
    "The result of the US-led war on Iraq is no longer a victory...   
It would merely be the defeat of the Baathist regime, and the         
occupation of Iraq in real terms will never happen from now on,"      
Rafsanjani said.                                                      
    "Still, whether the Iraqi regime is removed or not, a very        
difficult future is awaiting the Americans for they have been got     
bogged down in a quagmire from which they cannot easily get out."     
    Rafsanjani said the US anti-Iraq campaign will be "registered as a
big strategic and historical mistake in the dossier of the US         
Republicans".                                                         
    Elsewhere in his remarks, the former president recalled the 23th  
anniversary of the US breaking off diplomatic relations with Iran on  
April 7, stressing that Washington had broken the ground to freeze tie
despite Iran's liking.                                                
    "We never wanted to break our ties (with the US), but it was the  
US leaders who always broke the ground," Rafsanjani said.             
    "Breaking ties has never been our policy... We used to think that 
there is still room to work on (our relations with the US), and we    
still have the same belief... But it was always the US officials who  
were guilty".                                                         
    He recalled the US support for the Iraqi regime to wage a war on  
Iran, their plotting military coups against the Iranian government,   
their acts of espionage through the "Den of Spies" (US Embassy),      
and their economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic as the cases
by means of which Washington had contributed to the deterioration of  
Iran-US ties.                                                         
    He said Iran has always been ready to start talks with the US     
under equal conditions, and provided that Washington abandons its     
"anti-Islamic and colonial" policies in the region.                   
    Still, Rafsanjani said, it is regrettable to see that the US has  
never satisfied our prerequisite.                                     
AA/AR                                                                 
End                                                                   

last Update Friday, 04-Apr-2003 07:11:53 PST
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