Monday, December 13, 2004

Iraq's future, important for the region: Rafsanjani

Description of Selected News: "Iraq's future, important for the region: Rafsanjani

TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Monday Iraq and its future is of high importance for the region, the world of Islam and the Iraqi nation.

In his meeting with Syrian Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party Assistant Secretary General Abdullah Al-Ahmar, he underlined the need for regional cooperation to help Iraqi people hold a democratic election scheduled for January 30.

He said that if the Iraqi crisis remained unresolved and the occupiers and foreigners decided the future of the country for the Iraqi people, then the region would face a situation worse than Palestine.

The Syrian official, described the stance his country has adopted towards the major issues in the region namely in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine, saying the U.S. and the Zionist regime are the source of tension in the region.

As we have witnessed in Iraq and Palestine, the arrogant powers are to damage the cultural identity and plunder the resources of the region, he said.

He noted that the U.S. and Israel are to deprive nations of getting access to technology and development, saying that they impose pressure on Iran and Syria to prevent the two countries from development.

The U.S. is seeking to hold an election to keep its presence in that country, said Al-Ahmar, adding that Israel is also to take the opportunity in Iraq to impose further pressure on the Palestinians.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Al-Ahmar arrived in Tehran last Thursday on his first visit to Iran after the Islamic Revolution."

Russia’s role in global affairs less than expected: Rafsanjani

"Russia’s role in global affairs less than expected: Rafsanjani
TEHRAN, Dec. 12 (MNA) -- Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here Sunday that the role Russia was playing in global affairs was far less than what was expected of the country in view of its position in the world.
In a meeting with Russian Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov, Rafsanjani touched on bilateral cooperation and regional and international issues.

It seems that the implementation of several Iran-Russia agreements such as the Bushehr nuclear power plant faces further delays, he said, adding that Iran expects the agreements to be implemented more rapidly.

Referring to the two countries' political, economic and commercial potentials including oil and gas resources, Rafsanjani said that the region holds the biggest and most important natural resources.

Unfortunately these vast potentials are not used efficiently while Western countries use any means within their disposal to achieve their desired goals, the EC chairman stated.

Pointing to Russia's performance in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Caucasus, Rafsanjani said that the current situation in Ukraine is alarming.

The U.S., despite its friendly gestures, continues to pursue the objectives of the Cold War and is trying to enter strategic regions under the pretext of fighting terrorism in order to gain access to oil, the Iranian former president commented.

Rafsanjani also noted that Russia has lost many opportunities in Balkans, adding “The U.S. intends to infiltrate the Caspian Sea to gain oil.”

He stressed that Iran-Russia cooperation could prevent many such events and urged the two sides to strengthen their regional cooperation to defend peace, stability and justice in the region.

Tehran expected Moscow to adopt a firmer stance in regard to Iran’s legal right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, Rafsanjani stressed.

He suggested that a proper framework to be established to facilitate a closer relationship between the two countries, noting that this cooperation would have a significant effect in global affairs.

Sergei Mironov, for his part, praised Iran's stances on international issues, saying the two sides have mutual concerns on many issues.

He added that a new timeframe has been set for completion of the Bushehr power plant.

Urging joint use of natural resources, he expressed his country's readiness to bolster regional, oil and gas cooperation with Iran."