A prominent Iranian cleric on Friday mounted a strong attack on the US and on President Bush.
Speaking at Friday prayers, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads the Council of Guardians, said the Americans were trying to exploit the disaster of the earthquake in Bam to seek relations with Iran.
On the Bam earthquake, Ayatollah Jannati thanked the Iranian and international rescue teams but the Americans, he said, were politically motivated and were trying to exploit it for opportunistic reasons. "Our answer is to slap you in the face and to say that for the paltry aid you sent we cannot forget our problems with you and extend the hand of friendship and relations," he said. He said the US assistance for the affected people of Bam could not bring about the normalization of relations between Tehran and Washington.
"If you're so full of compassion, why don't you go and help the Palestinians, whose earthquake you created?"
He commented on the "criminal policies" persuaded by the United States both in Palestine and Iraq and said though Saddam Hussein was removed from power he has been replaced by another dictator. "As a result of his (Paul Bremer) policies, the Muslim people of Iraq are facing increasing insecurity and their basic needs are not met either."
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )