Kharrazi: Press commentaries on need to murder Rushdie is part of government foreign policy

In a briefing with the domestic and international press yesterday, the clerical regime's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi stressed: "We urged Britain to distance itself from Rushdie's book. Of course, western press and Salman Rushdie took advantage of this development, but came face-to-face with a proper response by the Iranian press. This was a good experience, showing how Iran's media can contribute to our 'consensus' foreign policy and play their role in fulfilling the duties of the media."

In the past two weeks, the state-run media in Iran have underscored the irrevocable nature of, and the need to carry out, the fatwa to execute Rushdie. They have stressed that the bounty on his head still stands.

Kharrazi also said: "[Governments] have tried to improve their relations with Tehran without any changes in our positions [regarding Rushdie]."

Meanwhile, a group calling itself the "theological students of Haqqani School in Qom" declared their readiness to carry out the fatwa to murder Salman Rushdie.

Kharrazi's endorsement of the most extremist positions of the regime's officials and media in support of the fatwa to kill Rushdie is an admission to the fact that as far as export of terrorism and crisis is concerned, "a consensus" exists among the regime's ruling factions.

It now becomes clearer as never before that the recent positions by the British Foreign Office is part of a shameful deal to justify expanding trade ties with the theocratic regime ruling Iran.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
October 8, 1998

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