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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

President Khatami: Saddam`s capture a positive point

IRNA

Tehran, Dec 17, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami here on 
Wednesday called the recent capture of the Iraqi dictator Saddam 
Hussein as a positive point, but said he doubted if Saddam would be 
given a fair trial. 
Khatami told reporters after a cabinet meeting that Saddam must 
stand a fair and open trial, stressing however that he was doubtful 
that this might ever happen. 
"This is because he would undoubtedly raise some points that may 
not be appealing to many of those now standing against him," the 
president said. 
"We hope that the truth will be unveiled and it is made clear 
what crimes Saddam has perpetrated, to which countries he was linked 
and what support he received." 
Khatami further stressed that he never wanted Saddam to be 
executed, even though any such ruling on the Iraqi dictator could 
have been the fairest. 
"Naturally, I do not like executions. But I believe that if there 
is going to be a death sentence, it would be the fairest to pass 
on Saddam," he said. 
Still, the Iranian president said, I never wish that an 
individual, even a criminal, would be executed if there are other 
options. 
Khatami also stressed that Iran, as a victim of the crimes 
committed by Saddam`s regime, will be very happy to have a 
representative at the trial of the Iraqi dictator. 
He stressed that Iranians, on whom Saddam`s regime imposed an 
eight-year bloody war, were happy about the arrest of the Iraqi 
dictator. 
"The Iranian nation during the (Iraqi imposed) war were exposed 
to chemical weapons that had been provided to Saddam by those who 
are standing against him today," he said. 
Khatami called Saddam`s regime one of the world`s cruelest ones, 
stressing that all nations that have suffered from the atrocities of 
his regime are happy with his capture. 
He expressed hope that Saddam`s arrest would put an end to Iraq`s 
occupation and would also prepare the ground for the establishment 
of a democratic government in the country. 
Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatami said the Mujahedin Khalq 
Organization (MKO) is a terrorist group that have committed many 
crimes against the Iranian nation. 
"Justice, logic, and the need to defend human rights demand that 
criminals be put on trial where they have perpetrated their crimes or 
the places that have been targeted by their crimes," he said. 
"We, therefore, expect them (MKO members) to be extradited to 
Iran, although we have still made no formal request to that effect." 
Khatami stressed that Iran will differentiate between MKO 
ordinary members and its high-ranking cadre. 
"Many young MKO members have been influenced by the group`s 
propaganda or have been pursuing other motivations to join the MKO," 
he said. 
"We believe that many of the MKO members who have not committed 
any crimes should be pardoned and enabled to return to Iran." 
Khatami also expressed hope that European states, many of whom 
have put the MKO on their list of terrorist groups, would not take 
any measure to provide the ground for the group to commit crimes in 
Europe. 
AA/212 
End 



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