Thursday, Aug 29, 2002
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Atul Aneja
The newspaper quoted a former senior Foreign Ministry official close to Mr. Velayati, who said he had been given the responsibility of contacting influential individuals in the United States so that a dialogue between the two countries could begin. The daily pointed out that Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former head of Iran's expediency council a key decision-making body in Teheran was keen to open talks with Washington. This effort, however, could not materialise as Washington then was fixated on doing business with Iran's moderate President, Mohammad Khatami. But the equation between the U.S. and Mr. Khatami has changed now that Washington has included Iran in the "axis of evil" and distanced itself from the Iranian President.
By souring its relations with Mr. Khatami, the U.S. has encouraged unity between the conservatives and the moderates in Iran on foreign policy issues, including Iraq. Both Ayatollah Khameini and Mr. Khatami are together in opposing a U.S. strike on Iraq, fearing that Iran could be next in Washington's firing line. Despite the common ground that they have struck on external policy, differences between Iran's conservatives and moderates on domestic issues appear to be widening. In an attack on hardliners, Mr. Khatami at a press conference today said he was determined to push through the reformist Parliament a Bill that would give him more authority, especially on constitutional matters. "I regret to see the absolute right of the President of the Islamic republic to supervise the Constitution being occasionally denied," he said.
Mr. Khatami's remarks assume importance as he believes that the banning of several newspapers and the jailing of 33 members of the Iran Freedom Movement (IFM) by Iran's conservative judiciary is unconstitutional.
So far, 83 Iranian publications, including 23 dailies, have been banned in the last two years. This includes the suspension of Norouz, run by Mr. Khatami's brother, Mohammad Reza.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |
Copyright © 2002, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of