Rafsanjani Denies ‘Call For Nuclear Destruction of Israel’
Iran’s Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani denied accusations by Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who accused him of calling for the destruction of the Israel through nuclear means.
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres commented last week that Rafsanjani had in a recent speech conveyed that the Islamic world was seeking nuclear weapons to destroy Israel and undermine Western interests in the region. (www.albawaba.com)
Rafsanjani, the Head of Iran’s Expediency Council, which dictates long-term policy, insisted that his comments were taken out of context. "By pretending innocence, Israeli officials are trying to divert world public opinion from their terrorist crimes against the defenceless Palestinian people and fan negative propaganda against the Islamic republic," Rafsanjani's office relayed in a statement published in Iranian newspapers.
The statement continued that Rafsanjani had merely "sought to advise Israel not to get into an arms race because this would only be to the detriment of Israel itself."
Iran strongly denies plans to develop atomic weapons, saying its nuclear program is only for civilian purposes. Israeli officials have consistently aired their concerns with their American counterparts about Iran developing weapons of mass destruction.
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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