Put Iran First Says Iranian Newspaper


A FOREIGN Ministry spokesman said in Tehran last Sunday that the allegations being made by US General David Petraeus were baseless.

Petraeus said on Saturday that arrested Iranian diplomats were members of the Revolutionary Guards Qods force.

Talking to reporters, Mohammad Ali Hoseyni said that the remarks by the US military commander in Iraq were nothing new and that they were in continuation of the past baseless accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

‘They repeatedly link those arrested or killed in the bombardments with the Qods force.

‘If they can, they announce names of those people or hand over the names to the Islamic Republic of Iran,’ Hoseyni added.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also commented on the possibility of Iran-US talks

In an excerpt from a report by Iranian radio on 7 October, he said: ‘Iran is prepared – in conditions of equality and justice, based on mutual rights and without preconditions – to hold talks with the five-plus-one countries,’ that is with the US, Britain, France, Russia China and Germany.

He was speaking to reporters in response to a question about American President Bush’s declaration of preparedness to hold talks with Iran.

Hoseyni said: ‘The point mentioned in Mr Bush’s remarks was, of course, clearer than before, but the stance was not new; it was a stance that we’d heard expressed by some other American officials.

‘This was that there could be talks conditional on the suspension of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme.

‘This statement has been repeated many times in the past and we’ve answered it also many times.

Meanwhile an Iranian newspaper has expressed concern that Iran’s concern for Palestine must not be allowed to harm its national interest.

An editorial by its political desk headlined ‘Iran first’ has been published by the Iranian newspaper Aftab-e Yazd website on 6 October explaining that Iran’s requirements must come before concerns for Palestine.

It stated: ‘The victory of the Islamic Revolution showed the world a new reality, namely that the capacity to mobilise the public and the masses was one of the most important sources of power in the modern world.

‘Of course subsequent events also showed that this power could be realised through governance in harmony with the people intent to implement the people’s ideas.

‘That is why the late leader of the revolution proposed a referendum to determine the form of the country’s policy, and had it carried out less than two months after the victory of the Islamic revolution, in spite of the opposition of some revolutionary forces.

‘The overthrow of a militarily powerful and wealthy regime by the Iranian people and the transfer of the bases of its power to the people led the intellectual leaders of the Islamic Revolution to propose repeating the same experience in the Palestinian question.

‘So in the first month of Ramadan after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, it was proposed that the last Friday of that month be named Quds Day and that marches be organised across the country to express support for the Palestinian cause.

‘The proposal was speedily accepted by various groups in Islamic countries, and even Muslims in some European states have implemented and implement today, marches in sympathy with this idea on the last Sunday of Ramadan.

‘On the other side, Israel’s supporters did not remain still, and they firstly tried as far as possible to prevent reporting and news around Quds Day, to prevent it attracting the attention of nations.

‘Today, of course, efforts to restrict the flow of information have become largely ineffective, and in spite of the opposition of some of Israel’s partisans, the supporters of Palestine display their coordinated support for the Palestinian cause across the world.

‘This coordination has in turn led the opponents of the idea to think of new measures including most notably sowing doubts and suspicions about the motives behind Iran’s support for Palestine.

‘It would not seem however as if the suspicions sown by Western powers, especially those previously embarrassed and shamed by their unqualified support for Israel, are proving too effective.

‘This again has prompted Western parties to begin an extensive effort to present every related move by Iran as a bid to extend its regional influence and make instrumental use of regional events – especially those in Palestine – to spread the ideas of its Shia revolution.

‘The idea conveyed to regional people is that Iran is giving an unusual degree of support to the Shias against other confessional groups, while it is also presented as a threat to regional rulers.

‘Beside moves to prevent the solidarity of other nations with Quds Day and raise suspicions on the motives behind Iran’s support for the Palestinians, plans were made to undermine the bases of Iran’s political and economic power, and all these were designed to weaken as far as possible Iran’s position in the world and the region.

‘We should not assume of course that many Arab states or relatively moderate European officials did not have any reasons to oppose Iran, but the realisation of potential opposition or discord required added provocations and persuasive arguments for Arab and European public opinions.

‘It would seem that certain measures and comments made in the past two years have – to a great extent – facilitated the path of Iran’s enemies and supporters of Israel toward the three stated goals.

‘The repetition of certain positions concerning Iraq when even Iraqi politicians closest to Iran have voiced their disagreement on those issues, insisting on negating the Holocaust when even the Palestinian groups Iran supports have not made such statements for fear of provoking European states, calling traitors all the Islamic statesmen somehow involved in the Middle East peace process, stating that Iran is ready to fill the vacuum in Iraq when the Americans leave, proposing that Israel be moved to Europe and some part of Europe be set aside to house the inhabitants of the occupied territories, and certain other issues, are all propositions that might have had different results from what we have today, had they been made by individuals outside government.

‘But the insistence of Iranian officials on these positions has not only not helped justify Iran’s positions among nations and governments but led to a situation where we see certain senior Arab officials state positions against Iran’s atomic programme very similar to those of the most radical Westerners.

‘Meanwhile, certain cowed Arab leaders say nothing – with the pretext of stemming the Iranian government’s expanding Shia influence – to the inhumane siege of 5.1 million people living in Gaza.

‘We are in a situation where even Syria is speaking of its possible participation in America’s peace talks, which are effectively recognition of Israel’s illegitimate existence.

‘These issues have helped increase pressures on Iran, especially with the atomic issue, and ultimately will not only create certain problems for the Iranian nation and government, but inevitably reduce its moral support for the Palestinian cause for its greater engagement with domestic problems.

‘The Islamic Republic system has lived this experience before.

‘An excessive concern with the affairs of Lebanon and Palestine at the height of Iraq’s imposed war was ended with a timely and vigorously-worded warning from the late leader of the revolution.

‘With the slogan that the ‘Way to Quds is through Kerbala’ he effectively warned officials that while the fate of the war with Iraq remained undecided, involvement with other issues would merely obstruct Iran’s efforts to attain its other domestic and foreign objectives.

‘One can boldly say today that the pressure on Iran’s government and people is a dozen times greater than at the time when the Imam called out that the way to Quds goes through Karbala.

‘So officials are above all obliged to think of reducing the hostility against Iran, and then plan for what they consider their international duties.’

Of course, the Iranian national interest is the interests of the Iranian bourgeoisie.

The interests of the Iranian workers require the defeat of imperialism and Zionism throughout the Middle East.