Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejected any plans for western-style reforms, and accused the United States and Britain of scheming for the Islamic republic's collapse, press reports said Monday.
The leader, who was addressing government officials and clerics in a meeting late Sunday, said Washington was "scheming for the eventual collapse of the Islamic republic," the conservative Kayhan International reported.
Khamenei expressed serious doubt over the "sincerity of Washington and London for reforms in Iran," recalling the two countries' 50-year long "despotic and tyrannical rule on the people of Iran," the reformist Iran Daily reported.
According to the leader, any western-inspired reforms in Iran, notably by Washington and London, would be "incongruous with the Islamic republic," stressing that the government had to "reach an agreement on well-defined definitions of reforms and reformations."
Khamenei underlined that the US-designed "collapse of communism in the Soviet Union with plausible slogans for reforms and reformations, would "never work for Iran," Iran News said.
Although Khamenei termed "freedom" as one of the country's "prime concerns," he also warned against "the kind of freedom" that allows the press to misleading public thinking "into forms which the enemies of the Islamic republic want to shape."
Since the election of reformist President Mohammad Khatami in 1997, the number of newspapers and magazines in Iran has soared. But his repeated attempts to reconcile the Islamic republic's principles with free expression and an openness to the outside world have been set back time and again by the regime's conservatives - TEHRAN (AFP)
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