FM: Iran Opposes War on Iraq, Slams U.S. for Solo Style

September 17, 2002 - 0:0
TEHRAN -- Iran declared its opposition to any military attack on Iraq on Sunday and criticized the United States for going its own way on global problems such as disarmament.

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told the UN General Assembly the Islamic Republic of Iran wanted Iraq to fulfill Security Council resolutions and readmit weapons inspectors to allow the lifting of sanctions imposed for Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

"We are against any unilateral measure or military intervention in Iraq, underline the central role of the United Nations in this regard, and hold that it is up to the people of Iraq to determine their own future through democratic means," Kharrazi said.

Kharrazi also accused the United States of undermining global efforts to control nuclear weapons testing, ballistic missiles, biological warfare and the trade in small arms.

The tragic terror attacks of September 11 were a challenge to the world, he said, adding that "fighting terrorism with unbridled use of violence" would only make matters worse.

Kharrazi advocated a "law-based counter-terrorism strategy" with which all countries could cooperate, as well as an attempt to identify and address the root causes of terrorism.

He called for a world summit to tackle the issue and develop a generally acceptable definition of terrorism.

Elsewhere in his speech Kharrazi said international law gave Palestinians the right to fight Zionist occupation.

"Labeling a nation, which only fights to liberate its home, as terrorist must be condemned," Kharrazi remarked. On a solution to the Middle East conflict Kharrazi said, "We respect the choices that Palestinian people make."

"It is the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to decide, through democratic means, their future political system and the manner in which they elect to establish their civil and political order," the Iranian minister added.

Bush, who has refused to meet Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, said in June the Palestinians must choose leaders "not compromised by terror" if they wanted a state of their own.

Kharrazi said global problems should be tackled through close international cooperation within a democratic framework.

"The logical extension of such an approach is the clear rejection of multilateralism and attempts by a single state, however powerful, to impose its norms and policies," he said.