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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran slams US for reinstating Ba`athists in Iraq

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, May 2, IRNA -- Iran upbraided the United States Sunday for 
deciding to bring thousands of Saddam Hussein`s disbanded Ba`ath Party
members back to office, saying this shows a lack of strategy on the 
US part. 
"Since America has no strategy in Iraq-- or if it has, the 
strategy is rather wrong-- it is pursuing a policy of trial and 
mistake. This is unbecoming of a country which boasts of being a 
superpower," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said. 
"All the Iraqi officials and the country`s source of (spiritual) 
reference Ayatollah (Ali) Sistani have opposed this. But, the decision
taken by the Americans reflects that they have reached a deadend. 
"And (Americans have shown that) whenever they reach a deadend, 
they choose the worst solutions," the official told reporters during a
weekly news briefing. 
The White House announced last Thursday that it was considering 
a change in policy that would let some members of the Ba`ath Party 
take part in an interim Iraqi government. 
The United States had earlier banned Ba`athists from taking part 
in the Iraqi government, but observers believe that the sudden change 
of tactic was intended to fight the rising tide of resistance, put up 
widely against the occupation across Iraq. 
Asefi stressed that `the US policy in Iraq is self-interest 
oriented`. 
"It is obvious that America does not think of the Iraqi people`s 
interests; rather, it pursues its own interests," the official added. 
"At one juncture, America creates al-Qaeda and then puts them 
aside, or it supports Saddam and then removes him. Such actions are 
based on immoral and self-interested concepts," Asefi said, adding 
"what is happening in Iraq is in line with the interests of 
Americans". 
The official denied media reports about exchange of messages 
between Tehran and Washington through the Iraqi interim government 
officials, including Governing Council member Ibrahim Jaafari. 
Asefi said contacts between Iran and US, which have virtually 
held no diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, were 
held as usual through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which takes care of
American interests in the Islamic Republic. 
The official supported Tehran Municipality`s decision to put up a 
laque in the capital, denouncing Germany for supplying chemical 
weapons to the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, who waged a 
destructive war against Iran between 1980 and 1988. 
The decision apparently is a tit-for-tat measure following the 
erection of a plaque in Berlin, which implicates the Iranian 
government in the killing of four Iranian dissidents in 1992. 
Tehran rejects this claim. 
BH/212 



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