TEHRAN 10 Feb. (IPS) "Two years before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the deposed Shah had authorised Israel to use the Iranian territory and facilities for its atomic missiles", a hard line newspaper claimed Monday.

Mr. Hoseyn Shari’atmadari, a high-ranking official intelligence officer specialising in the interrogation of political dissidents, said in 1977, the former Iranian Monarch signed an agreement with Mr. Shimon Peres, then Israel’s Defence Minister, allowing the Jewish State to use Iran for "atomic experiences".

Though Mr. Shari’atmadari, appointed by Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i as the Editor of the arch’ conservative evening daily "Keyhan", cites "existing documents", but he stops short of providing further details about the so-called agreement and do not explain why in the past 24 years the Islamic Republic has not made public such a provocative document.

"Not only in exchange for such a service that must be accounted as an act of high betrayal the American regime of Shah got nothing, but it even paid 2 billions US Dollars for the project plus authorising the Zionists to use one airport and the site’s installations for the experimentation of the missiles…" Mr. Shari’atmadari added.

At the time Iran Press Service was posting this article on the site, Mr. Peres was could not be reached for comment, but Iranian political analysts, while expressing serious doubt about Mr. Shari’atmadari’s claim, pointed out that it coincides with both the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in the one hand and growing popularity of Prince Reza Pahlavi, the 44 years-old son of Mohammad Reza Shah, mostly among young Iranians, on the other.

Though the former Iranian regime had recognised Israel de facto, but it had close security, intelligence-sharing and defence arrangements with Tel-Aviv.

Aware of the growing unpopularity of the Islamic Republic and its leaders, particularly Ayatollah Khameneh'i, the editor of Keyhan, who is an advisor to the leader and his mouthpiece, predicted that "as usual, the American and the puppet media both in the West and in some countries of the region, in order to downgrade and belittle such an "immense, glorious and popular march", would give it but few lines in their papers or few images on their television screens.

The official media in Iran usually report of "millions of dedicated people" taking part in that commemoration, but independent sources notes that with every year passing, the number of people busses to the march shrinks to not more than hundreds of thousands.

"If the Americans and the West are correct in their assumption that the international Muslim movement and its very centre, base and source, meaning the Islamic Republic is doomed, why is it that 24 years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, they continue to antagonise and hate so much the Islamic Republic?", he wrote. ENDS IRAN ISRAEL ATOMIC ACCORD 10203