Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Description of Selected News

Description of Selected News: "Healthy general elections essential to maintain security in Iraq: Rafsanjani

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) –- Expediency Council chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani met with Iraq’s new ambassador to Iran Mohammad Majid Al Sheikh here Tuesday.

Expressing concern over the continued violence, brutality and intimidation against the innocent and Muslim people of Iraq since the former Baath regime until the present, Rafsanjani stressed that the Iraqi officials should get help from the people to establish security in Iraq.

He added that the increasing bloodshed and massacre of civilians in Iraq by occupying forces harms the Iraqi public opinion, an issue which will be irreparable for the country’s government in the long run.

The EC chairman further expressed Iran’s readiness for an overall participation in the reconstruction of Iraq and stressed the serious will and determination of Iranian officials to expand bilateral ties with Iraq based on neighborliness and mutual respect.

The Islamic Republic believes that holding a healthy, transparent and general election in Iraq is the most important and essential step required for maintaining stability and security in Iraq, Rafsanjani said.

He added that elections in Iraq would give legitimacy to the Iraqi government and official institutions, which will consequently lessen the range of violence and oppositions in the country.

There’s a difficult path ahead from despotism to freedom and if all of Iraq’s groups and forces fail to unite and remain content with their rights, the way could be paved for another dictatorship, the EC chairman mentioned.

Emphasizing the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq, Rafsanjani stressed that occupying forces should withdraw from the country for this purpose.

Majid Al Sheikh on his part described the latest developments in Iraq saying the most important concern of the Iraqi people is the efforts made by former Baathist members and extremist groups in disrupting the country’s situation and infiltrating internal organizations.

The Iraqi ambassador lauded Iran’s principled stances and called on all Islamic states particularly neighboring countries to help the Iraqis pass through this difficult stage.

Stressing the necessity for unity among various ethnical, religious and political groups in Iraq, Majid Al Sheikh said that the religious leadership has an important role in resolving the country’s problems."

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