The People's Daily
May 21, 2001
Iran on Sunday reiterated condemnation of the United States for its
economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic, saying that the sanctions
have brought no result for the US other than failure.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi made the remark on the
occasion of the anniversary of the imposition of U.S. sanctions against
Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Iran and the U.S. severed relations in 1980 after the seizure, by some
Muslim students, of the U.S. embassy in Tehran following the triumph of
Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979.
By accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism, seeking to sabotage Arab-Israeli
peace efforts and committing human rights abuses, Washington has imposed
economic sanctions against Iran since May 22, 1980, which were renewed by
U.S. President George W. Bush in March this year.
Asefi dismissed the renewal of sanctions as one-sided, saying that the
decision by the Bush administration contravenes the international
Experiences over the past years are proof of the failure of the U.S.
sanctions, he noted, adding that "since Iran holds good economic and
industrial relations with other states and it also has huge energy
reserves, the U.S. has failed to achieve its goals."
12) Iranian Conservative Candidate Opposes U.S. Ties
TEHRAN (Reuters) May 21 - Iran's foremost conservative candidate in next month's presidential elections was quoted on Monday as saying he opposed re-establishment of ties with the United States. ``It is not to our benefit to impose upon ourselves relations with the United States,'' Ahmad Tavakoli told Aftab-e Yazd daily in an interview.
Tavakoli, a former revolutionary prosecutor and labor minister, is seen as the most serious conservative challenger for President Mohammad Khatami (news - web sites) on the June 8 elections.
The United States broke diplomatic ties with Iran in 1980 after radical students seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took dozens of U.S. citizens hostage. Washington still maintains harsh trade sanctions against Iran and penalizes foreign firms which invest in its oil sector.
Iran has said it is prepared to restore ties with the United States only if Washington drops the embargo.
Khatami, who remains popular despite major political setbacks over the past two years including the closure of some 40 newspapers and the jailing of dozens of intellectuals, is widely expected to beat his nine rivals easily.
Tavakoli, a British-educated economist, said he supported the conservative crackdown on the press and intellectuals.
``I seriously oppose the breaking of norms by some of the newspapers, I believe the judiciary should carry out its legal duties,'' he said.
The judiciary is run by hard-liners close to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who are bitterly opposed to Khatami's attempts to reform the 22-year-old Islamic Republic.
But candidates have not campaigned seriously, which some analysts say is a sign that the conservative opposition is resigned a Khatami victory in the election.
``Khatami knows he will win, and has no need to advertise,'' said an analyst. ``The conservatives know they will lose, they see no benefit in advertising a lost cause.''
Reformists are pushing for the elections to be seen as a referendum on change.
``June 8 will be an informal referendum,'' said Abbas Abdi, a leading pro-reform editor. ``It's best for Khatami to speak out clearly about his aims and the obstacles he faces.''
Although the conservatives have failed to field a strong candidate, fearing humiliation at the polls, several rightists are running, including former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian and university chancellor Abdollah Jasbi.
Together they could well dent Khatami's vote and undermine the mandate he needs to back his reform program.