Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Iran Rejects Bush Comments on Weapons, Suppression
"Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi Wednesday denounced as baseless Washington's allegations that Iran was seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction and repress its people.
President Bush Tuesday repeated his accusations that Iran pursued weapons of mass destruction, and slammed Iran's clerical establishment for not responding to the nation's desire for freedom.
"Whatever comments Bush made on Iran's pursuing weapons of mass destruction are totally baseless, superficial and wrong," Kharrazi told reporters after a weekly cabinet session.
Washington branded Iran as part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea last year for pursuing weapons of mass destruction and sponsoring terrorism. Iran strongly denies the charges.
However, Bush's remarks on Iran in his State of the Union address Tuesday offered a more nuanced analysis.
He did not refer to Iran as evil, reserving that epithet for Iraq alone, although he said Iran supported terror and repressed its population.
"Iranians, like all people, have a right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny, and the United States supports their own aspirations to live in freedom," Bush said."

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