Statement No. 18
Rafsanjani displays anger over Iranian Resistance's major campaign in Italy

Remarks by Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of the Council for the Discernment of the State Exigencies and former President, at Tehran's Friday prayers congregation, displayed the clerical regime's anger over the extensive demonstrations and activities lasting over several days against Khatami's trip. The activities were undertaken in Rome and Florence upon the initiative of the Mojahedin.

He said: "Allowing a group of opponents of the state to demonstrate and insult the President and people of the Islamic Iran is unacceptable."

Trying to expand suppression and lawlessness to European countries, Rafsanjani said brazenly: "They gave room to a group to come and insult the President. We saw that. It was not like in the past. They can prevent such things from happening... If they want to stop them, they can very well do so."

Enraged that the mullahs' flagrant human rights abuses have been exposed, Rafsanjani accused Western countries of taking advantage of human rights. He claimed preposterously that minorities have more freedom in Iran than in other countries.

Different demonstrations and protest actions by Iranians on March 9, 10 and 11 against Khatami's visits to Rome, Florence and the Vatican, as well as hurling paint-filled eggs at Khatami and his motorcade in six different locations displayed the Iranian people's repugnance toward this medieval regime and its criminal president. As many foreign observers underscored, these activities tainted Khatami's visit.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 13, 1999

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