Ayatollah Rafsanjani commemorates Iran-Iraq battle victory

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani commemorated the "the glories of the Islamic Revolution, the Sacred Defense in particular" during Friday prayers. He used the occasion "especially at a point when Iran's defensive powers might be underestimated." On 24 of May 1982, Iran drove Iraq out of Khorramshahr near its border with Iraq.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani has been the chairman of the Expediency Council which resolves government disputes arising out of legislations and advises Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Rafsanjani chided the Western countries for equipping Iraq during the war and said the Iraqi army used "hideous chemical weapons of the most destructive kind and that they targeted Iranian cities, ships and planes, taking advantage of the West's intelligence and ammunition."

Next, Rafsanjani indicated that Iran was open to compromise and negotiation on the impasse of Iran's nuclear activities. Nevertheless, he stated the Iran would not brook pre-conditions. He stated, "They set a precondition for negotiations, which is humiliating to us." He, moreover, said,

If the West is honest in its claim, doors for negotiation in the field of nuclear issue will be open.

Rafsanjani has also accused the West of wanting to bring about discord among Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims. A few days ago, he called King Abdallah bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia to exchange view regarding this issue. King Abdullah responded that Iran has strengthened bond among Islamic nations and praised the Islamic Republic. On a similar note, in a meeting with the parliament speaker of Morocco, Rafsanjani said, "Resolving problems requires convergence and assistance from other Islamic countries."

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