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AMIR TAHERI COMMENTS ON US KHATAMI VISA
by Amir Taheri
Benador Associates
August 31, 2006

We should not allow the Khatami visa issue to sideline us from the real issue, which is the Islamic Republic's strategy to terrorize the Iranian people, defy the international community, and spread its Islamofascist ideology to other Muslim countries.

There is no harm in letting Khatami come to Washington to be exposed to pubic scrutiny.

This may well provide an opportunity for the U.S. media to ask Khatami about the atrocities committed by his administration, including the assassination of dissidents, the arrest and torture of thousands of people, including trade unionists and student leaders, the closing of over 150 newspapers and magazines, the banning of hundreds of books and dozens of films, the arming of the Hezbollah in Lebanon, shipping weapons to Yasser Arafat's terror units and Islamic Jihad, and providing the Jaish al-Mahdi in Iraq with money and arms.

Let us not forget that it was during Khatami's administration that the Islamic Republic speeded up its nuclear program to acquire the so-called "surge capacity" needed for manufacturing atomic warheads.

Khatami would also have to explain whether or not he still regards Hassan Nasrallah, leader of he Lebanese branch of Hezbollah, as "The Sun of Islam shining over the world," as he put it in a message on July 15.

What is important is to make sure that the U.S. media have the courage to raise those questions.

It seems that some American political figures, including former President Jimmy Carter, are queuing up to meet Khatami. That is no bad thing, either. All politics is about choice. By begging to meet the head of one of the most repressive regimes in the world, Carter would simply show whose side he is on. Having refused to meet Iranian dissidents, and rejected repeated calls for statements in support of Iranian trade unionists, student leaders, persecuted minorities, and political prisoners, Carter is precisely the person who should hang around with people like Khatami.

 

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