Cleric Dismisses Bush’s Mideast Visit as Futile

A03341108.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) Tehran’s interim Friday Prayers leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said that the current visit to the Middle-East by the US President George W. Bush would prove futile.

Addressing a large congregation of worshippers on Tehran University Campus here on Friday, Khatami viewed materialization of the Arab-Israeli peace as the main goal underlying Bush’s tour of the Middle-East, and said, “But Bush should rest assured that this goal will not be materialized and the (US) Republican party cannot regain its lost prestige.”

He further noted wide public protests against Bush’s current visit to the region, and added, “Another goal pursued by the (current visit of the) US president is portraying Iran as a threat to its neighbors. But thanks God, no one in the region has an ear for such words.”

The cleric also pointed out that the US claims about a confrontation between Iran’s speedboats and US navy warships in the Hormuz Strait over the past few days was another plot by Washington to prepare the ground for its efforts to portray Iran as a threat.

Elsewhere, he called on certain Arab states to act wisely and prevent the bankrupt and helpless US president from deciding the fate of Arab nations in the last year of his government.

Khatami also pointed to the ongoing crisis in Lebanon over election of the country’s president, and stressed, “Unfortunately, the US and the puppet government of Lebanon made all efforts fail. They are actually seeking to compensate their military failures on the political scene.”

“We want a tension free, developed, prosperous and jubilant Lebanon on the international level,” he stressed.

The Friday Prayers leader also noted Iran’s nuclear issue, and viewed the current visit to Tehran by the UN nuclear watchdog chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, as positive.

“The world realized that all the negative propaganda against Iran was a lie and we hope that ElBaradei can find out more realities during his visit to Iran and close the dossier in the interest of our country in a bid to show that the (International Atomic) Energy Agency is complying with its duties in a proper manner,” Seyed Ahmad Khatami concluded.

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