Khatami underscores continuing efforts by mullahs to acquire deadly weapons

In a speech at the Ministry of Defense yesterday, mullahs' president Mohammad Khatami again lauded those involved in the production and test-firing of Shahab-3 missile which has a range of 1,300 km and can carry nuclear and biological warheads.

Underscoring "the need to strengthen the country's defense and military capabilities," Khatami said that "the Islamic Republic of Iran... will add to this capability every day."

He also emphasized that the regime will not abide by international laws and conventions in its quest to procure technology and the means to produce weapons of mass destruction, and that obtaining the technology is not a difficult endeavor. He said: "We are determined to be strong and will not seek anyone's permission to strengthen our defensive capability."

Khatami's remarks, which come after a wave of international censure for test-firing a medium range missile, lay bare the clerical regime's fundamentalist and expansionist objectives, particularly in the Middle East.

The test-firing of Shahab-3, efforts to produce and stockpile weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear and chemical arms, and continuing enmity to Middle East peace confirm that Khatami's rhetoric about "d'tente" is but hollow.

Persistence in exporting terrorism and fundamentalism abroad, and suppression, execution and torture at home are the pillars of the ruling medieval dictatorship. Any retreat from these policies will lead to the mullahs' overthrow.

Since Khatami took office, the number of public executions has exceeded 250, a wave of crackdown and arrests is continuing nationwide, not even one dissident newspaper has been granted publication permit, 27 Iranian dissidents have been assassinated abroad by Tehran's hit-squads and the mullahs' leaders have emphasized that there can be no change in the fatwa to murder Salman Rushdie.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
August 2, 1998

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