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To: DoctorZIn

Cuban leader meets Iranian foreign minister 2004-07-03 11:15:16

HAVANA, July 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Cuban leader Fidel Castro met Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi on Friday, discussing economic cooperation and regional political issues, local press said.

The top Iranian diplomat concluded a 24-hour visit in the Caribbean country Friday, during which he also met with Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez and Interior Minister Ricardo Cabrisas.

Kharazi said he and Castro had a "very interesting" meeting in which they talked about economic cooperation, and political and regional affairs.

He said the two sides are willing to extend bilateral cooperation.

During a meeting with his Cuban counterpart Thursday, Kharazi criticized the United States' Cuba policy and emphasized multilateralism in international affairs.

Describing the relations between Iran and Cuba as excellent, hesaid his visit provides a good chance to hold bilateral talks, study ways and forms of developing the ties and exchange views on regional and international situation.

Cuba and Iran normalized diplomatic relations in 1979 after thevictory of the Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Enditem

8 posted on 07/02/2004 9:19:06 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: freedom44

05:25:48 È.Ù
Tehran, July 2 - Chairman of the Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here on Friday called US President George Bush the "real criminal" in the court case against the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hossein, stressing that Bush must also be put on trial.

"Today, the world's monsters are standing face to face, and the real criminal is US President Bush who must be indicted," Rafsanjani said at a sermon to Tehran Friday Prayers.

He criticized the us for holding the trial of the Iraqi dictator in-camera, and said Saddam must be tried for the crimes that he has perpetrated in the eight-year war against Iran, 1980-88, as well.

"The US always asks others to be transparent. But why have they held the first hearing of the court in-camera?" he asked. "That they show footages of the hearing with no voice indicates that this is not a trial."

Rafsanjani said the weakest point with Saddam's trial is that his crimes against Iran have not been included in his indictment.

"Is the fact that there are currently 100,000 Iranians suffering from chemical wounds ... not the result of Saddam's crimes?," he said."If the Iraqi court refuses to deal with this issue, then this shows that the US has ordered the case to be like so. This is because Saddam's war on Kuwait has been raised while his war on Iran has not been included in his indictment."

Rafsanjani stressed that Saddam's trial must address all the events in the region during his reign, including the war against Iran, stressing that another court should otherwise deal with his case.

The former president expressed regret that certain western states have created a ballyhoo over Iran's nuclear energy plans, but are themselves engaged in a nuclear arms race. Rafsanjani said the west and the UN must address the roots of the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), stressing that Israel must also be prevented from developing those weapons.

"They have so far used chemical and nuclear warfare wherever they desired and there was no problem. But now they are saying that the terrorists may develop access to these weapons," he said.

"Of course they are right to be concerned because if irresponsible people have access to these weapons there will be many disasters in man's history."

Rafsanjani recalled Iraq's 1978 gassing of people in Sardasht and Halabja in its war with Iran, and blamed the West for developing the technology of WMDs.

He pointed out to documents that indicate the involvement oF western corporations in providing the former regime of Saddam Hossein with chemical warfare, stressing that the West shares the blame with Saddam for crimes against humanity in gassing the people in the war with Iran.

"Now that the Islamic Republic wants to exploit the nuclear technology for industrial and medical use, they accuse it of what they, themselves, are," Rafsanjani said.

9 posted on 07/02/2004 9:27:01 PM PDT by freedom44
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