The former President of Iran, Hashemi Rafsanjani, has called on the West to engage in talks on the nuclear issue.
His plea is in marked contrast to defiant comments made by President Ahmedinejad earlier this week.
Mr Rafsanjani has just been voted head of Iran’s Assembly of Experts – one of the most influential positions in the country’s political system.
His comments suggest he may use his influence to challenge the hardline approach of President Ahmedinejad.
Senior Iranian cleric urges the White House and US Congress to erase the idea of fighting Islam and Muslim ‘revolutionary’ forces from their minds.
Americans should take lessons from the (doomed) actions they have embarked on since September 11, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Tehran’s interim Friday prayer leader, told a congregation of worshippers today.
“After terrorists slammed two hijacked aircraft into New York City’s twin towers and razed them to the ground, Mr. Bush took advantage of the frenzy created by the event to impose America’s colonial policies on the world,” he said in reference to the US invasions of the two Muslim countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.
“More than anything else, the US started to fan security fears throughout the world and attacked two Muslim countries under the despicable pretext of his infamous ‘axis of evil’ designation,” Rafsanjani, who was recently elected the new chairman of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, said.
Under the influence of this delusion, the US did not hesitate to launch military action to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, encircling Iran in the process, he noted.
Rafsanjani referred to the huge financial and physical loss inflicted on the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq to prove that the Bush administration had failed in both countries.
“Hoping that Israel will survive for ever, the US announced its so-called Greater Middle East plan to bring the Muslim Ummah under its domination.”
The US has reached a dead-end in Iraq and their Greater Middle East plan is definitely doomed to failure, the cleric added.
The attempt to encircle the Islamic Republic of Iran has had nothing but adverse consequences for the US, bringing it to a juncture where it has been forced to seek Iran’s assistance to establish security in Iraq, Rafsanjani concluded.