Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Iran: U.S. has history of reneging on vows of extending goodwill

Iran: U.S. has history of reneging on vows of extending goodwill: "Iran: U.S. has history of reneging on vows of extending goodwill

Associated Press
November 4, 2004

TEHRAN, Iran -- Students burned American flags and effigies of President Bush on Wednesday to mark the 25th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, while a top Iranian official accused Washington of undermining his country's goodwill gestures.

To chants of "Death to America," about 3,000 students gathered outside the former U.S. Embassy to mark the Nov. 4, 1979, storming of the building by students, who held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. By the Iranian calendar, the anniversary fell on Wednesday.

The three-hour protest coincided with news that Bush had won re-election.

Also Wednesday, Hossein Mousavian, a top security official, blamed successive U.S. administrations for the continued strained relations.

"Iran has showed a lot of goodwill, but America has reneged on its promises each time, effectively spoiling any chance of a rapprochement," Mousavian told The Associated Press.

The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran after the embassy takeover and never restored them.

Today, the two countries are at odds on Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran contends is solely for energy purposes. Washington accuses Iran of secretly trying to build a nuclear bomb.

Mousavian said about 50 world leaders in the 1980s conveyed messages to President Hashemi Rafsanjani that Washington would show "unbelievable goodwill" if Iran used its influence to release Western hostages held in Lebanon at that time.

"We showed goodwill and helped release the hostages, but America reneged on its promises," he said.

"We openly supported the Afghan northern alliance against the Taliban. Without our support, America would have not been able to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan," Mousavian added.

Instead of rewarding Iran, he complained, Bush included Iran in his "axis of evil," further worsening relations."


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