Iran to give US 'far worse destiny' than Iraq, ex-president says

A probable military attack against Iran over its nuclear programme would give the United States "a far worse destiny" than Iraq, Iranian former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said Friday.

Iran to give US 'far worse destiny' than Iraq, ex-president says
"If the nuclear dispute is really intended to be solved, then negotiations would be the only way, but if other options (military attack) are envisaged, then the protagonists of such options should know that their destiny would definitely be far worse than in Iraq," Rafsanjani said in a speech at Friday prayers in Tehran.

The US has not ruled out military options against Iran if the Islamic state does not suspend its uranium enrichment programme which Washington and its allies claim is being used for a secret military programme.

"We are willing to talk and believe in negotiations, so do not take other initiatives which would eventually not only harm yourselves and us but also the whole region," added the moderate cleric, who currently acts as head of the supreme clergy body, the Experts' Assembly.

Referring to Friday's talks in London between Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Rafsanjani said that Iran was willing to give any guarantee to reassure the West that the country's nuclear projects were not military but civilian.

"We have constantly acted in line with international regulations and will do so in the future and there is no reason why the dispute cannot be settled through rational negotiations," Rafsanjani said.

Rafsanjani also says Iran has rights to pursue civilian nuclear technology as a member state of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a signatory of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty.

"The fact is that we have over the last 25 years gained nuclear know-how and this cannot be taken away from us any more," the cleric said.

Following the IAEA report earlier this month on the technical side of Iran's nuclear programmes, Jalili and Solana are supposed to discuss, on the basis of the IAEA report, the political aspects of the dispute.

Although Iran rejects the main international demand for enrichment suspension, Jalili said last week that he had a "new idea" for settling the dispute which he would present to Solana in London. The contents of the new idea have not yet been disclosed.

It is widely expected that Solana's report would be one of the main criteria for the five United Nations Security Council member states plus Germany on whether issuing another resolution, including harsher sanctions, against Iran or allowing the dispute be settled, as hoped by Tehran, through renewed negotiations.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Kasım 2007, 16:02