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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Major cleric: NIE report neither a big victory nor something without importance

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Dec 14, IRNA
Substitute Friday prayers leader of Tehran Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said here that Tehran takes the NIE report neither as a big political victory nor something without importance.

"We consider the report of 16 US intelligence institutions neither as a big political victory nor as something (of) minor (importance)," said Ayatollah Khatami in an address to large groups of Friday prayers worshipers here at Tehran University campus.

Ayatollah Khatami said the report has some positive points.

"The report bears positive points: One is that it explicitly acknowledges that Iran does not have nuclear weapons today. Moreover, it admits that since 2003 Iran's nuclear energy has been peaceful.

Another point, which is a source of honor for our system, is that they have reported that in 2007 Iran made a serious jump in the field of nuclear technology. The acknowledgements by the enemy is a success.

"There are yet inaccurate points in the report: One is that (it maintains) Iran had perhaps been seeking nuclear weapons prior to 2003. That's an American lie which has been raised repeatedly by the US statesmen. They have claimed that Iran had stopped seeking nuclear weapons on the US pressure, which is another lie," said Ayatollah Khatami.

The cleric said Iran has the right to be pessimistic over the enemy.

"Principally, we should be pessimistic towards the enemy. If it bore smile on its face, we should say that's satanic. So, we consider the report neither a big political victory nor something of less value and we maintain our vigilance. Our Islamic system carefully watches all movements of the enemy."

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khatami said assassination of a senior Lebanese commander General El-Haj was in line with the plots to escalate tension in the country.

"Undoubtedly, the Zionist regime is to be blamed for the act. The criminals do not wish to see Lebanon in peace," he declared.

He then termed as a "political victory" the failure of the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his recent Manama visit to lure support of Arabs in opposing Iran.

"Gates had gone there (to Manama) to form an Arab-Israeli camp against Iran but with God's grace, he spoke so humiliatingly in the Conference that the participants ridiculed him. We consider it as a political victory that our Arab neighbors have come to the belief that Iran is their powerful friend and they want to have a peaceful co-existence with it. Iran too has shown that it has been their best friend after the triumph of the Islamic Revolution"

He said the neighbors should be cautious that certain countries' claims, raised every now and then, that they own the three Iranian islands is a "US trap."

"They are constantly wishing to keep the issue so as to fan flames of conflict, which we hope neighbors will be watchful."

He also lashed out at the US in removing last week some proof and evidence on interrogation and torture of the Guantanamo inmates as acknowledged by the CIA Chief. "That's a dark stain for the US. (The US President George W.) Bush personally orders torture. They bring the inmates under torture and film it, then remove all traces of the crime and claim they defend human rights. This is seriously a fiasco for western democracy."

He also ridiculed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in claiming that Britain will take its forces our of Basra by next two weeks.

"That's a sweet fruit of Iraqi people's resistance. This proves that if they resist the enemy will start to escape."

He added, "At the same time, Brown has claimed they will remain in Afghanistan for another 10 years. We tell Brown, rest assured that you cannot remain long in Afghanistan too and will escape from there without gaining anything. The reason for it is your claim that you wanted to be in Afghanistan to reduce poppy cultivation, while it has been tripled."

He also ridiculed the occupiers' false claim of campaign against terrorism. "You said you want to fight terrorism. We have reliable evidence that you are cooperating with Taliban and provide the militia, which is an outstanding example of terrorism, with money so as to remain in power for another short time. That's too a British-style lie. Thanks God, our nation is for ages resentful and hateful of the old colonialist."

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