Sunday, January 23, 2005

U.S. rhetoric meant to derail talks between Iran and EU

U.S. rhetoric meant to derail talks between Iran and EU: "U.S. rhetoric meant to derail talks between Iran and EU

TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (MNA) -- Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi on Sunday branded the U.S. president’s recent statements as a declaration of cultural and religious war against the world.
Asefi also said that Bush’s remarks included many countries and that Bush’s own friends called it a comprehensive war against the world.

“We consider such statements to be a clear example of cultural and religious war which produce only animosity toward U.S. policies throughout the world,” Asefi told reporters at his weekly press briefing.

Asefi also stated that the U.S. charges against Iran are part of psychological operations which are carried out from time to time.

“The main core of the U.S. propaganda is militarism, which we regard as psychological warfare,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman noted.

Asefi added that no country in the world cared about President George W. Bush’s statements and even his friends within the Republican Party called his statements improper.

Tel Aviv decides for Washington

Asefi also said that Iran was quite right to say that the U.S. policies are decided by Israel and the Zionist lobby in the United States.

On Thursday, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said Iran is “right at the top” of the Bush administration’s list of world trouble spots, and said that Israel “might well decide to act first” to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“The statements by Cheney and the Zionist officials are two sides of the same coin, and this confirms the Islamic Republic’s view that Tel Aviv and the Zionist lobby in the U.S. determine the policies of Washington, and this is no surprise for us,” Asefi said.

If one day Washington decides to improve its reputation in the eyes of the rest of the world, it will be compelled to make serious efforts to rid itself of Zionist influence, he added.

Asefi went on to say that the U.S. administration has replaced logic with bullying in its dealings with the world and expressed hope that Bush would adopt a logical approach during his second term.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also said that Iran is powerful enough to defend itself in the face of any attack by Israel.

"The Islamic Republic is strong enough and has the ability to defend itself,” he asserted.

Iran says any U.S. attack would be “strategic mistake”

The Foreign Ministry spokesman downplayed the U.S. military threats against Tehran but immediately observed that it would be a “major strategic mistake” if the U.S. launched a military attack against Iran.

"We consider it to be psychological warfare, unless someone wants to make a major strategic mistake," Asefi said.

Bush said last week that military action had not been ruled out to deal with Iran's nuclear program.

U.S. rhetoric meant to derail talks between Iran and EU

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also said that the repeated allegations against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program are meant to discourage the Europeans in their talks with Iran.

Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi also said on Sunday that the recent statements about Iran are part of a psychological warfare campaign being waged against the Islamic Republic which is meant to influence the nuclear talks between Iran and the European Union.

The representatives of Iran and the European Union held constructive talks in Geneva, Switzerland, last week and they are going to meet again on February 8 or 9.

"The Americans make those remarks against Iran in order to influence the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and Europe," Yunesi told reporters in parliament.

The Intelligence minister said that precautionary measures have been taken and there is nothing to be worried about.

"All military, security, economic, and political measures were adopted three years ago. Iran expects to see no threat, but at the same time it has adopted all precautionary measures."

Noting that the U.S. military threats against Iran cannot be translated into reality, he stated, "It would be the biggest and most stupid mistake if the U.S. tried to materialize its threats against Iran.

"Iran is neither Afghanistan nor Iraq. Iran is the entire Islamic world and all of history. It will neutralize any plot through its great national, military, and international power and capabilities.”

Turning to the false reports claiming that U.S. commandos had infiltrated into Iran, Yunesi called such claims a joke.

“Today we have the most secure land, maritime, and air borders and no American or non-American dares to set foot upon Iranian soil.”" - "Iran ready to offer economic expertise to Iraq" - "Iran ready to offer economic expertise to Iraq": ""Iran ready to offer economic expertise to Iraq"

Sunday, January 23, 2005 - ©2005

LONDON, Jan 23 (IranMania) - Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Seyyed Safdar Hosseini said on Saturday that Iran is ready to transfer its economic experiences to Iraq, expressing hope that cooperation between the two neighbors would enjoy a boost with the establishment of the new government in the war-ravaged country.

According to ISNA, the Minister told his Iraqi opposite number, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, that Iran has attained valuable experiences in the fields of Islamic banking system, customs, investment and treasury, which could be useful for Iraqi economic authorities.

The Iraqi Minister, for his part, praised past cooperation by Iranian nation and government with the Iraqi people, calling on the Islamic state to help find a solution to the issue of Iraq's debts to Iran.

He said Baghdad hopes that Iran would write off a portion of the war-torn country's debts.

Mahdi said Bank Keshavarzi and Bank Melli of Iran have been authorized by the Iraqi interim administration to operate in the country, adding that the Iraqi side has received similar requests from other Iranian banks.

He said foreign banks could operate in Iraq either through 100 percent foreign investments or in partnership with Iraqi investors.

Iraqi officials have repeatedly asked Iranian authorities in almost every formal meeting since the collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime in early 2003 to write off the US-occupied country's debts. However, it remains to be seen whether Iran would be ready to take such a move for a country which did everything to destroy its economy during the 1980-1988 war."

Iran warns US against "strategic mistake"

Iran warns US against "strategic mistake": "Iran warns US against "strategic mistake":
[World News]: Tehran, Jan 23 : Iran warned the United States Sunday against an attack, saying any aggressive manoeuvre against the Islamic Republic would be a "strategic mistake", reports Xinhua.

"The Islamic republic is fully capable of defending itself, so only those who want to make a great strategic mistake would have the idea of attacking Iran," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said at a news briefing.

Asefi, however, said the US threat was unlikely to materialise, terming it as only a "psychological war". "We don't think a real attack is going to be launched by the United States," Asefi said.

The spokesman also called on the international community to take action to stop the US from pursuing policies.

"Iran expects the international community to keep a close watch on the Bush administration, for it is eligible to stop any wrong policy of some countries," Asefi said.

The war of words between Iran and the US escalated last week after The New Yorker magazine published an article by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, which claimed that Washington was planning an attack on Tehran.

President George W. Bush had said Monday that he would not rule out military action against Iran.

Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice urged the international community to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and threatened to refer Tehran's nuclear case to the UN Security Council.

At the inauguration ceremony of Bush's second term Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney ranked Iran at top of a list of global trouble spots.

Hersh's report claimed that the US was carrying out covert operations inside Iran to identify nuclear, chemical and missile sites.

Though the Pentagon said the story was "riddled with errors of fundamental fact", it did not expressly deny conducting secret reconnaissance missions.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons and has threatened to launch pre-emptive attacks on its nuclear facilities.

Iran rejects the charges, saying its nuclear research is peaceful and acts as a deterrent against its enemies in the region. "