From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (email@example.com)
Date: Fri May 01 2009 - 11:21:34 EDT
Iran: US lacks discretion to judge others
Fri, 01 May 2009 06:17:21 GMT
In response to a US annual report accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism,
Tehran questions Washington's jurisdiction in passing judgment on other
In its annual report on terrorism released on Thursday, the US State
Department repeated old accusations against the Islamic Republic,
labeling it "the most significant state sponsor of terrorism."
"Iran has long employed terrorism to advance its key national security
and foreign policy interests, which include regime survival, regional
dominance, opposition to Arab-Israeli peace, and countering western
influence, particularly in the Middle East," the report stated.
The Thursday report also accuses Iran of 'clandestinely' supporting
terrorists, as well as what the US describes as Islamic militant groups
abroad, including Hezbollah, Hamas, Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan
and militants in Iraq by providing weapons, training and financial
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who was in Cuba to attend a
Non-aligned Movement (NAM) meeting, responded to the allegations at a
press conference on Thursday. He said that the US was not in a position
to judge other countries.
"The US, because of everything that has been done in the Guantanamo
prison and for its support of Israel, racism and occupation, has no
jurisdiction to accuse other countries [of sponsoring terrorism],"
Currently, 241 prisoners are being held at the notorious detention
center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, many without standing trail. US
President Barack Obama has promised to shut down the prison and has
banned torture; the prison remains open.
"The policy of double standards of the United States is known to the
world. Therefore, the US has nothing new to say," the Iranian official
Washington is still pursuing a dual-track strategy of carrots and sticks
with Tehran over its nuclear work despite US President Barack Obama's
claim of a 'new beginning' with the Iranian government.
The US accusations against Iran were spearheaded by former president
George W. Bush who called Iran 'the axis of evil,' labeling Tehran the
main sponsor of terrorism.
Iran, however, has on several occasions defended itself against the
allegations, saying Tehran surely benefits the security in the region.
Tehran calls 'moral' its support for Lebanon's Hezbollah, the
Palestinian nation and the democratically-elected government of Hamas.
Iranian officials have also welcomed fighting terrorism in neighboring
Afghanistan, which they say has jeopardized the security of the whole
region, spreading beyond the Afghan borders.
Iran earlier said it was devising a plan to help the recovery of
war-torn Afghanistan which grapples with insecurity despite the
seven-year presence of more than 65,000 US-led forces in the country.
According to the United Nations, more than 2,000 Afghan civilians were
killed throughout 2008 in operations by foreign forces.
The accusations against Iran's support of the Taliban comes while
according to the former US special envoy to Kabul, James Dobbin, "few
countries were as helpful to the United States -- in its early
involvement in Afghanistan -- as Iran."
Former National Security Council official, Flynt Leverett, has also
acknowledged Iran's help in stemming Afghan violence.
"Washington's engagement with Tehran over Afghanistan provided
significant and tangible benefits for the American position during the
early stages of the war on terror."
The occupation of Iraq, Iran's neighbor, has prompted Iranian officials
to openly denounce the US presence in the oil-rich country which has
been the witness of violence since its invasion in 2003.
Iran, a vocal critic of Israel, also blames the US for its support of
Tel Aviv, which has been accused of committing war crimes against the
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during a three-week attack starting in
Apart from blocking over 40 anti-Israeli resolutions sought by the
Security Council since 1972, Washington also used its power in vetoing
three UNSC resolutions on the recent Gaza war, which left nearly 1,400
At the height of the war, the US also abstained from voting on a
non-binding resolution which called for an 'immediate and durable'
ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the region.
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