Rafsanjani urges West to take the path of peace

December 22, 2007

TEHRAN - Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has advised Western powers to “renounce viciousness and follow the path of peace and cooperation” in order to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.

In a sermon to worshippers gathered in Tehran on Friday for the prayer of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast of the sacrifice, Rafsanjani asserted that the United States will not benefit from the pressure it is putting on the world to encourage countries to impose tougher UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic
“The U.S is not stopping its threats directed at Iran and frequently holds meetings of 5+1 group countries, which is usually unproductive. Its threatening (language) is like a sword over the heads of nations.”
“The various threats and sanctions have imposed political and economic costs on us, but have not benefited the United States,” he added.
The U.S. adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan has backfired, Rafsanjani stated, saying, “Iran is an even tougher field. They believed that they could attain their objectives through imposing sections on us, but now the U.S. has become more vulnerable.”
“Casualties and troops suffering from psychological trauma have created a disaster in the U.S,” he observed.
The chairman of the Assembly of Experts accused the West of seeking to distort the U.S. intelligence report on Iran’s nuclear activities.
In a report released on December 3, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) said Iran has no nuclear weapons program and probably can’t produce enough uranium for a bomb until 2010 at the earliest even if it wished to create a nuclear arsenal.
Rafsanjani said, “Why do you Westerners want to distort the U.S. intelligence report, which confirms that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, while this statement can be used to allay the world’s concerns?”
Iran wants peace and tranquility and is not seeking tension and sabotage, he underlined.
“Over the last 30 years, since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has not pursued adventurism, and those who live in glass palaces will suffer the repercussions of their efforts to demolish the bridges of peace.”
High inflation, dependence on imports should not be ignored
The former president also criticized the government’s economic policy, saying the economic problem is a serious issue that can harm the country.
“The economy and high inflation are… issues that should be taken seriously. The problem can harm Iran and the Islamic Revolution,” Reuters quoted Rafsanjani as saying.
Consumer prices in the country rose 19.1 percent in the year to November 22, according to central bank figures.
“It (the economic problems) is tangible for all Iranians and cannot be ignored by providing… wrong statistics to people,” the EC chairman added.
“One of the shah’s mistakes was increasing imports to satisfy Iranians by relying on the windfall profits from oil at the time,” Rafsanjani said.
“That is a temporary solution maybe for one year. But it will harm production and will make the economy even weaker,” the former president noted.