Tuesday, December 28, 2004

'Neo-Conservatives Abusing Spirit of Christ,' Iranian Leader Says -- 12/28/2004

'Neo-Conservatives Abusing Spirit of Christ,' Iranian Leader Says -- 12/28/2004: "Neo-Conservatives Abusing Spirit of Christ,' Iranian Leader Says
By Julie Stahl
CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief
December 28, 2004

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - American neo-conservatives are in control of the world and are 'abusing the spirit of Christ,' the head of the Iranian Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, said.

Speaking in a sermon last Friday (Christmas Eve) at Tehran University, Rafsanjani said there was a difference in the "Christian world" between the oppressed and the Americans.

"Regarding what is going on in the Christian world, one must distinguish between most of the people, who are deprived of rights, oppressed, the people of the Third World and another part of the people -- such as the Americans," Rafsanjani said according to a translation provided on Tuesday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

"The American neo-conservatives, who are, in fact, the Zionists of our time, are now in control, and they are abusing the spirit of Christ," said Rafsanjani, who is a powerful figure in Iranian politics.

"Zionists" is a term that refers to those who support a national movement for a homeland for the Jewish people in the historical land of Israel. Iranian leaders use it to refer to anyone they want to accuse of colonizing someone else's land.

"We expect that the scholars and leading men of the Christian world will not allow the exalted spirit [of Christ] to be contaminated by the sinister goals of these greedy, colonialist people. They must act in order to appease the spirit of Christ," he said.

"We, too, are willing to cooperate for the sake of the justice of Christ, whose pure essence is in Islam."

The crowd responded with shouts of "Death to America! Death to America!" MEMRI reported."

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