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By An IPS Correspondent
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2004

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By an IPS Correspondent

TEHRAN 16 May (IPS) Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i on Sunday strongly condemned what it denounced as American’s “imbecile, impudent and foolish” attack on the Muslim Shi'ites most sacred places, warning that such “shameless and insolent” acts would not go without proper response by the Muslims worldwide.

“The world Muslim community and the Iraqi people will not remain silent against the insolents because the events are very important and we should not remain indifferent”, Mr. Khameneh’i told a group os theological students.


“The world Muslim community and the Iraqi people will not remain silent against the insolents because the events are very important and we should not remain indifferent”,


He was refering to the unabtted fightings between the Coalition forces led by American soldiers and followers of the turbulent cleric Hojjatoleslam Moqtada al Sadr in holy places like Najaf and Karbala, both situated south of Baghdad and homes of the sacred shrines of Ali, the Shi’ites first Emam and his second son, Hussein.

“Despite such impudents and the crimes committed, the US forces are so shameless that they claim human rights and democracy”, the powerful but unpopular leader of the Islamic Republic said, adding: “The apple of discord sown by Americans in Iraq will bear the bitter effect of hatred for decades”.

Refering to the scandal of Iraqi prisoners tortured by American prison guards, Mr. Khameneh’i said the scandal in the Abu Ghraib prison, which is also ongoing in other prisons, is a mark of dishonnour on the forefront of the Americans, a mark that would not be erased for years”.

However, he nowhere in his speech to the students touched on the fact that Mr. Sadr and his so-called Mahdi Army are taking positions inside the holy places, firing on the Americans. Nor did he mentionned the illtreatement of Iranian political prisoners at the hand of interogators, examplified by cases of the murder of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist killed in prison or Mr. Ensafali Hedayat, a free lance journalist and the 72 years-old Siamak Pourzand, both needing urgent medical treatments that are refused to them.

However, nowhere in his speech Khameneh'i touched on the illtreatement of Iranian political prisoners.


Determined to dislodge the Mahdi Army from their strongholds and arrest the 30 years-old Sadr, accused of having murdered last year Hojjatoleslam Abdolmajid al-Kho'i, a young and moderate cleric in Najaf, American have so far killed tens of the Sadr's followers and arrested more than a hundred.

Mr. Khameneh’i termed the ruling US Administration as “a system of tyranny, hatred and indifferent to the human greatness and said that the US Iraq occupation, mistreating the people, appointing an American administrator, torture, and their sacrilege to the holy sites are a string of wrong-doings which trap the United States in a quagmire which would sank them further, the more they strive”.

Khameneh’i also called on the European Union to condemn the United States, saying the European states should condemn the recent US crimes, “if they claim to be defendant of democracy, and the condemnation should be ratified in light of a resolution adopted by the UN Security Council, otherwise their human rights claims would be of no value.”

In his view, the June 30 power handover deadline set by the US-led coalition forces is “a deception” and called on the Iraqi think-thanks and statesmen to know that any of them who comes to power would be a US stooge and would be detested as much as the Americans.

“The real power transfer is when the Iraqi people enjoy the right to choose, otherwise a plan laid out by a person dictated by a US would not mean a power transition”, he went on, having in mind that based on a free and democratic vote, the Shi’ites that make the majority in Iraq would take the power and possibly, establishing an Iranian-type of Islamic Republic.

“Today, the US administration in Iraq and the occupying Zionists in Palestine commit the most horrendous crimes. These crimes, gives a justified right to the Iranian people to cry out "down with the US", "down with Israel", he said, as about 200 students of a conservatives-controlled and paid Association of Muslim Students rallied outside the British Embassy in Tehran,shouting slogans against the United States, Britain and Israel.

According to the official news agency IRNA, police and security forces guarding battled with some students trying to enter the Embassy.

In a resolution read to correspondents, the group urged all Muslim nations to cut relations with the "occupying countries and expell their ambassadors".

But an Iran Press Service correspondent on the scene of the rally said the fact that almost all the posters were written in English and the flags that were burn did not match the real flags of the countries condemned showed that the demonstration was stage-managed by the ruling conservatives. ENDS KHAMENEHI CONDAMN US 16504



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