Friday, May 26, 2006

Be Wise, Rafsanjani Tells Bush and Blair

Yahoo News:
Top Iranian cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has called on the US president and the British prime minister to act "wisely" in their handling of Iran's controversial nuclear program. "We still expect the world power seekers to have sense and not to create chaos and unrest in our region," Rafsanjani said to George W. Bush and Tony Blair in his Friday prayer sermon carried live on state radio. READ MORE

Bush said Thursday that it was up to Iran to determine whether it remains isolated by the world community because of its nuclear program.

Referring to Bush and Blair's admission that mistakes were made in Iraq, the influential former president said: "You will make such confessions about Iran too. You will realize your mistakes".

Britain, France and Germany have prepared a package of incentives to try to persuade Iran to suspend enriching uranium.

The United States and its allies are also pushing for a UN Security Council resolution that could eventually trigger sanctions against Iran, which they accuse of secretly moving toward making a nuclear bomb.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for energy purposes and that it has a right to uranium enrichment as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

A process in the nuclear fuel cycle, uranium enrichment, can also make the core of an atom bomb.

"Iran's historic experience shows it will not allow anyone to deprive this country of its rights," said Rafsanjani, who still heads Iran's powerful Expediency Council.

The head of Iran's powerful ideological army, the Revolutionary Guards, vowed Friday that any US, British and Israeli "interference in Iran's affairs or attacks on its soil will be faced by an unpredictable response".

"The enemy forces in the region are vulnerable," General Yahya Rahim Safavi said before the sermon.