Kharrazi: Our position on Rushdie has not changed whatsoever

On his return from New York, mullahs' Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told the state radio and television network today: "In my meeting with the British Foreign Secretary about the apostate Salman Rushdie, I did not take any new stance. My position was exactly what officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran had repeatedly underscored." "In reality, the British government decided to elevate to the level of ambassador its ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran," Kharrazi said.

Mullahs' news agency, IRNA, reported on Thursday that in a meeting with leaders of a number fundamentalist groups and parties in Britain, mullahs' charge d'affaires Gholamreza Ansari described the propaganda by the British media about the Cook-Kharrazi deal as "misleading." Underlining that the fatwa cannot be revoked, he said: "The British government accepted this after 10 years. The fatwa was not essentially raised in negotiations between Kharrazi and British Foreign Secretary, for it was obvious that it could not be rescinded."

The pro-Khatami daily, Kar va Kargar, wrote on October 1: "London, which used to always repeat that Iran must provide written assurances about Salman Rushdie and rescind the fatwa, retreated blatantly from its position." It added: "The position of Khatami's government in talks with Britain was nothing new and officials of the Islamic Republic had frequently stressed them. In the not too distant past, Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mr. Nateq-Nouri and Dr. Velayati had taken similar positions."

Such remarks demonstrate that as far as the clerical regime is concerned, the Cook-Kharrazi deal lacks any political, legal and practical value. Export of terrorism is indispensable to the ruling theocratic regime and a common denominator to all its factions.

The Foreign Office position about the Rushdie affair is but a justification to legitimize trade deals and shameful political collusion with the religious, terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
October 3, 1998

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