The IranianUnique Travel


email us

US Transcom
US Transcom

Shahin & Sepehr

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

    News & views

Montazeri says U.S. ties possible

TEHRAN, Feb 6 (Reuters) - A senior Iranian dissident cleric, in remarks published on Saturday, called for Iran to study re-establishing ties with the United States, saying the two countries' estrangement did not need to be permanent.

``This issue should be studied by foreign policy experts...away from factional considerations, and one should act resolutely if they conclude that it is in the interest of the country to re-establish relations,'' the daily Khordad quoted Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri as saying.

``The late Imam (Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini) called America the 'Great Satan' and generally rejected all ties with it, but it is obvious that such a ruling is temporary and could change according to economic and political conditions,'' Montazeri was quoted as saying in a newly published pamphlet.

Hostile ties between Tehran and Washington have thawed somewhat since the 1997 election of moderate President Mohammad Khatami. But few political figures in Iran have openly called for establishing ties with the United States.

Last year, Khatami called for increased people-to-people exchanges to ease tensions. Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ruled out relations with Washington.

``If a bad record were the norm for cutting ties, Britain and Russia have damaged Iran more in the past than America has. Therefore the norm is the current situation of states and the world and the interests of our revolution and system, not what happened in the past,'' Montazeri said.

Montazeri has lived under house arrest since late 1997, when he publicly criticised Khamenei. The cleric has been Iran's leading dissident since Khomeini removed him as his designated successor months before his death in 1989.


Copyright © 1997 Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated or distributed in any form