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Bush: Iran's vote system undemocratic

Washington Post | June 17, 2005

President Bush, addressing the Iranian people on the eve of their presidential election, denounced Iran's electoral system as undemocratic and vowed Thursday that America would stand with those Iranians seeking "freedom."
Bush's comments on Iran election reflect his ignorance: Kharrazi

In a statement distributed by the White House, Bush said, "Today, Iran is ruled by men who suppress liberty at home and spread terror across the world. Power is in the hands of an unelected few who have retained power through an electoral process that ignores the basic requirements of democracy."

The statement amounted to a repudiation of the elections and the seven candidates for president.

"Across the Middle East, hopeful change is taking place," Bush said, citing elections in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. "People are claiming their liberty. And as a tide of freedom sweeps this region, it will also come eventually to Iran."

Bush's comments on Iran election reflect his ignorance: Kharrazi

Tehrantimes.com | June 17, 2005

TEHRAN (Agencies) -- Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said here Friday that U.S. President George W. Bush's recent comments on Iran's presidential election is due to his lack of knowledge about Iran, IRNA reported.

Kharrazi made the remark after casting his vote.

The Iranian foreign minister’s comments followed Bush's criticism of Iran's presidential election which he said would retain power in the hands of an unelected few and are undemocratic. Kharrazi added: "While lecturing us on democracy, Bush totally ignores the presence of grass root democracy in Iran and launches a campaign against it, which is self contradictory, and needless of response." He said, "People's presence at this election is a sign of the Islamic Revolution's grandeur and sufficient proof that the U.S. president's remarks regarding Iran's presidential election are quite worthless."

"The Western media have always been busy with their anti-Iran campaign, with high or low intensity, but they have never ceased their destruction campaign, but the final results of this election would prove how unsuccessful they have been and how convincing a response they have got from the Iranian nation." On the influence of election on the country’s foreign policy, he said, "Iran is currently playing a decisive role in the region and the Islamic Republic is a very stable political system."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also said on Thursday that the U.S. president’s criticism of the Iranian presidential election is groundless. He said it's based on hostility and animosity, Xinhua reported.

“In Iran we have candidates from different tendencies while in America there are two candidates, from Republicans or Democrats. Bush is not worried about democracy in Iran,” He noted.

FM spokesman rules out Chirac-Blair objection to uranium enrichment

Asefi also said Iran will never overlook its rights of applying nuclear energy for civilian utility, IRNA reported.

In reaction to statement of French President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister in Paris on Wednesday, Asefi said that the statement is contrary to the current negotiations between Iran and the European Union (EU) on nuclear standoff.

"We have always emphasized the need to have fuel cycle in line with the international conventions and are waiting for a comprehensive plan from the EU to recognize Iranian right to enrich uranium to produce fuel for power plant," Asefi said.

British and French leaders had called for Iran to stop uranium enrichment.

Iran has suspended uranium enrichment voluntarily for confidence-building with the international community and agreed to offer objective guarantees that Iranian nuclear program is for civilian purpose.

Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has envisaged Additional Protocol which grants short notice inspection to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as "objective guarantee" to make sure that nuclear activities of the member states are for civilian purpose.

Iran has set up fuel cycle in line with the IAEA safeguards to produce fuel for power plants and sees import of fuel uneconomical to produce electricity.

Asefi dismisses reports of cooperation with Pakistani scientist

Asefi also dismissed press reports that Iran had close cooperation with Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadir for procurement of nuclear equipment.

He said that the press misquoted Iranian negotiator with European Union (EU) on nuclear standoff Sirus Naseri as saying that Iranian nuclear case led to uncover Abdul Qadir networks.

Asefi said that Naseri's statement has been distorted by the press.

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