Statement No. 8BR> In Italy, Khatami emphasizes that fatwa to murder Rushdie cannot change

The clerical regime's state television reported that in response to a question about the fatwa to murder Rushdie during his press conference in Rome, Mohammad Khatami, the president of the religious, terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran, underscored the regime's previous positions that this anti-Islamic and anti-human decree cannot be rescinded.

He said: "As a great religious leader, His Eminence the Imam Khomeini issued a fatwa which all Islamic countries and the Organization of Islamic Countries endorsed... The leader determines the state's overall policies. The officials, the government and the people move within the framework of those policies."

In this way, Khatami not only emphasizes that the fatwa cannot change, but implicitly puts the implementation of the decree among the duties of the government."

Khatami's remarks demonstrate that contrary to his rhetoric about "civil society," "rule of law" and "dialogue between civilizations," as far as such fundamental issues as suppression and export of terrorism are concerned, Khatami is not in any way different from other leaders of the regime.

Shaking hands with a criminal who has explicitly underscored the need to murder foreign nationals, runs counter to internationally recognized human rights norms and principles. The Iranian Resistance, thus, reaffirms its call that Pope John Paul II cancel his scheduled meeting with Khatami.

The clerical regime will take advantage of these meetings to legitimize the continuing suppression and massacre of the Iranian people and export of terrorism.

Despite many restrictions imposed by the Italian police, upon the initiation of the Mojahedin organization, 5,000 Iranians took part in a demonstration in protest to Khatami's presence in Italy. This reaffirmed that the mullahs' medieval regime is devoid of any legitimacy among the Iranian people and that such visits only hurt the feelings of the people of Iran.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 10, 1999

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