Khatami rejected all forms of dialogue with the United States government and said there must be a crack in the wall of mistrust (a reminder of the secret relations and deals that characterized the Irangate affair). He further defended the regime's policy of export of terrorism and fundamentalism, just as he defended the 1979 seizure of the US embassy and the taking of American diplomats hostage. He tried his best to justify the slogan of death to America.
Khatami underscored the regime's opposition to the Middle East peace process and its support for groups opposing peace. Despite clear condemnation of the regime's leaders in the Court of Berlin, Khatami denied their involvement in assassinations abroad.
Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of the NCR Foreign Affairs Committee, said the remarks by the mullahs' president reaffirmed that export of terrorism and fundamentalism are what the regime's internal factions all agree upon. The mullahs' leaders will never be able to step back from these policies. Khatami's positions were much weaker than the positions taken eight years ago by Rafsanjani. TV viewers in Iran evaluated his remarks as being much more conservative than those of Rafsanjani.
Khatami's balloon thus burst with a loud bang. His statements reaffirmed the fact that there is no possibility for reform from within the clerical regime. Khatami's moderate gestures before all else reveal the regime's weakness and escalating crisis within the entire regime. This situation is reminiscent of the final stage of the shah's dictatorship.
Khatami's emphasis on keeping the regime on its feet and maintaining the constitution and its fundamental policies mirrors the statements and positions of Khamenei last Friday, when he declared that the regime's leaders have no differences over basic issues, including relations with the United States, and each one of them plays his own role.
Khatami also stressed that branding the regime's leaders as moderate and conservative is a misinterpretation, adding that all the policies are determined by Khamenei and that the government only implements them.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 8, 1998