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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Jannti says Iran not to normalize relations with US

IRNA

Tehran, Jan 2, IRNA -- Substitute Leader of the Tehran Friday Prayers 
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati blasted the US administration bellicose 
policies over the past year but wished that the advent of the new 
Christian year would herald peace and stability to the world. 
Speaking to worshipers at Tehran University Campus, he advised 
the Christians around the world to follow the instructions and 
directives given by Jesus Christ and to try to contribute the peace 
and calm in the world despite the fact the Bush administration has 
sparked the tension worldwide over the past year. 
He commented on the criminal policies persuaded by the United 
States both in Palestine and Iraq and said though the Iraqi ex-tyrant 
Saddam Hussein was removed from power but it has been replaced by 
another one (an allusion to US overseer Paul Bremer). 
As a result of his (Bremer) policies, the Muslim people of Iraq 
are facing increasing insecurity and their basic needs are not met 
either. 
Jannati who is also the secretary of the Guardian Council further 
turned to the French President Jacques Chirac`s support for a ban on 
the hijab (Islamic dress code) for women in the state schools and said
the ban has added to the difficulties of Muslims in France. 
He said the ban on the Islamic dress code was in contrast with 
the democratic principles to which France claim to stand committed. 
He called on the Islamic countries to put pressure on France to 
abolish the ban on hijab through threatening to cancel their bilateral
agreements with this European state. 
French Education Minister Luc Ferry said a bill banning 
"conspicuous" insignia from the classroom -- including the Islamic 
headscarf and large Christian crosses -- will be put before the 
National Assembly in February and should come into effect by 
September. 
Chirac`s previous remarks on the controversial issue of Islamic 
headscarves drew a mixed reaction in France, some applauding the 
reassertion of France`s secular state principles, while others called 
proposed legislation counter-productive and discriminatory. 
Many Muslims said the legislation unfairly targeted their 
community. 
Jannati elsewhere touched on the devastating earthquake that 
claimed lives of several thousands in southeast Iran and said the 
tragic disaster has saddened the hearts of all Iranians and many 
people around the world. 
He praised the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah
Seyed Ali Khamenei, President Seyed Mohammad Khatami, the head of the 
Expediency Council Rafsanjani as well as other top brass officials to 
visit quake-hit Bam since the aftermath of the disaster. 
He said the US assistance for the affected people of Bam could 
not bring about the normalization of relations between Tehran and 
Washington. 
A major quake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the open-ended Richter 
scale rocked the southeastern city of Bam in Kerman province in 
the early hours of last Friday. 
According to a official statistics, the quake has killed more than
30,000 people and destroyed the historic quarter of the city of Bam. 
The international community mobilized a major relief operation to 
help the survivors of the deadly tremor. 
Ayatollah Jannati further touched on the forthcoming parliamentary
elections and stressed that the hopefuls should be quite qualified to 
run for the race and enter the parliament. 
He said the active participation of people in the upcoming 
general elections will lead to formation of a model parliament and a 
free and fair society. 
The elections will be held with lively participation of people on 
February 20 in line with respective regulations, he anticipated. 
He said that the enemies are used to launching propaganda campaign
to spoil the atmosphere on the eve of the elections adding that the 
enemies will not overshadow the upcoming elections. 
Belief in and commitment to Islam and the Islamic Republic of 
Iran, allegiance to the Constitution and Velayat-e Faqih (Islamic 
jurisprudence), having good physical health, holding at least an 
Associate of Arts/Science degree or its equivalent, lack of criminal 
records and being between ages of 30 and 75 are among pre-requisites 
for the nominees. 
HB/214 
End 



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