Iran Condemns Israel's ‘Terrorist attacks’
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi and parliament lambasted Israel Tuesday for its air strikes and ground assault on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"The Islamic republic of Iran condemns the Israeli attacks which target Yasser Arafat," Kharazi told reporters at a joint press conference with his visiting Spanish counterpart Joseph Pique.
"These attacks demonstrate that, day to day, the situation deteriorates for the Palestinian people."
He added: "The UN must play a more active role and adopt a new approach to press democratic principles."
The Israeli ground and air strikes have destroyed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's three helicopters in Gaza City, set ablaze Palestinian Authority offices in the West Bank, wrecked the Gaza Strip's airport and killed at least two Palestinians.
Iranian parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karubi told a parliamentary session the raids on the West Bank and Gaza Strip were "a massacre without precedent of the Palestinians."
Karubi warned that the Israeli government's ordering air strikes and branding the Palestinian Authority a terrorist entity would feed the "growing radicalisation of opinion in the Middle East and that it risked being a catastrophe for humanity."
He blasted Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's televised speech Monday night, which compared Israel's campaign against the Palestinians to the US-led war on terror in Afghanistan.
"If you truly want to battle against the terror, we must contain the Israeli government and establish a just peace in Palestine," Karubi said in an implicit swipe at the United States, Israel's closest ally, for not stopping the strikes.
For its part, the Iranian parliament accused Sharon of looking to "eliminate the signs of life in the occupied territories with a vast military attack."
It called for "intervention from the international community and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference," the 57-member pan-Islamic organisation.
"We condemn the Zionist regime for its repeated violations of all international resolutions and conventions, notably the attacks on Monday night," the 200-member parliament said.
Iran, which refuses to recognise Israel's right to exist, also condemned the attacks the previous day.
The Israeli campaign was triggered by two massive suicide bombings by the radical Palestinian group Hamas over the weekend which left 25 Israelis dead and 220 injured – Tehran (AFP)
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