The Islamic Republic of Iran escalated Monday its verbal offensive against both the Islamic Taleban and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, warning that only the withdrawal of Pakistan army from Afghanistan and forcing Taleban to submit to logic and wisdom can prevent a large scale, dangerous war in the region.

."Don't let that fraction of the Pakistan army that sow the seeds of unrest and war in the region to continue its destructive action on orders from American oil and gas companies who are interested only in their wicked and dirty interests at the price of the blood of hundreds if thousands of innocent Muslim", Mr Khameneh'i pleaded.

This is the first time that the highest Iranian authority so openly and publicly accused Pakistan army of military intervention in Afghanistan and at the same time told it to stay away in case Iran declares war on the Taleban.

"With the help of the Almighty and the assistance and co-operation of all the officials, I have been able to prevent the start of a great fire that would not be easy to fight off in this region, but now every one must be aware that the danger of a generalised war is very near, very imminent and very great, a danger that can be prevented only by forcing the Pakistan army to stop interfering in Afghanistan in the one and urging the leader of the Taleban group to accept logic and wisdom, make away from catastrophic actions and compensate past mistakes", Mr Khameneh'i said in his chilling declaration.

This was also the first time that Mr Khameneh'i confirmed earlier information that some officials in the "Mullahrchy" were pushing for an invasion of Afghanistan while other, particularly the present and former presidents, Mohammad Khatami and Hashemi Rafsanjani were resisting, urging moderation and diplomatic actions against the Taleban.

Immediately after the statement, the Iranian regular army said it was ready to carry out "any order" from the ayatollah Khameneh'i, who is also the supreme commander of all Iranian armed forces.

After the Revolutionary Guards that, the Regular Army is to start large scale military manoeuvres in the areas adjacent to Iranian borders with both Afghanistan and Pakistan, involving more than 200.000 men and backed by the latest weaponry.

With most of the 70.000 guards that participated in the "Ashoura III manoeuvres remaining in the area, all together then, Iran will have massed near 300.000 men in its frontiers eastern frontiers, rising speculations that it might launch an all out military invasion of Afghanistan.

"One has heard that the leaders of the Taleban and their army of mercenaries have declared impunible the killing of the Hazareh (Afghan Shi'ates), that the y have declared the killing of any male over the age of 7 a religious duty, that the Pakistani air force had participated in the mass murder and destruction of Bamian. This is a real genocide", Mr Khameneh'i said in his statement, without saying where from he has got his information.

Analysts in Tehran said the stern and almost unprecedented accusation of Pakistan is more for domestic purposes than a real declaration of war, as it was issued hours before the arrival in Tehran of the bodies of seven out of nine Iranian diplomats and one journalists gunned down by the Taleban soldiers when they captured the Northern city of Mazare Sharif last month.

Regardless of the fact that the ayatollah Khameneh'i do not represent but a relatively tiny minority sect among the Muslims who in their great majority are Sunni, with many of them like the Afghan Taleban or the Saudis, considers the Shi'a as heretics, the public media repeatedly referred to him as the "valy e amr moslemin", or the leader of the Muslims in the world.

In a defiant rebuke to Mr Khameneh'i, moderate and liberal newspapers such as "Salam" and "Toos" and personalities warned against any military intervention in Afghanistan.

"Why should young Iranians be slaughtered in another war? Aren't you satisfied with the million of Iranians who were killed and disabled for life in the war with Iraq to speak about the necessity of another conflagration?" wrote Mr Fariborz Bakhtiari in the liberal and independent daily "Toos".

Quoting Iranian experts, "Salam" for its part said no one is for a war with Taleban, for, it added any military confrontation with the Taleban would mean to fall in the trap already laid for Iran. 

During an interview with the BBC, Mrs Binazeer Bhutto, the former Pakistani Prime Minister who now is in London, confirmed parts of Iranian accusations against Pakistan, the United States and Saudi Arabia concerning their backing of the Taleban.

She said though she does not believe that the army of Pakistan was engaged in Afghanistan, however, it was possible that some elements were involved. "One has to take seriously accusations concerning the intervention of Pakistan's army in Afghanistan. Iran is very important to Pakistan and because we need Iran, one has to put pressure on the Taleban for the formation of a coalition government and in case they refuse, Pakistan must cut its relations with them" Mrs Bhutto suggested.

According to Mrs Bhutto, it was the CIA, Pakistan and some other Muslim nations that she did not named that "created these fanatics to fight the Soviet occupiers" in Afghanistan and leaders like herself concerned to defend the Kashmir cause, closed their eyes on the activities of Islamic fundamentalist groups.

A regional containment of the Taleban was also a topic of discussions between the leaders of Iran and Turkey, as both Tehran and Ankara expressed their concern from Taleban's recent military victories and the "genocide" against other Afghan religious and ethnic minorities, according to Tehran Radio quoting from a message send by Mr Suleiman Demirel for his Iranian counterpart. 

Editor-in-Chief:  Safa Haeri
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