First Published: 2003-11-11

 
Iran: Powell knows nothing about Islam
 

Asefi says US officials' comments on Islam clearly prove they do know nothing about Islam, Muslims.

 

Middle East Online

A furious response to Powell's criticism

TEHRAN - The United States administration knows nothing about Islam or democracy, Iran's foreign ministry said Tuesday in a furious response to an attack by US Secretary of State Colin Powell on the Islamic republic's ruling clerics.

"The various comments made by the US officials on Islam and Muslims clearly prove they do not know Islam and Muslims, just as they do not know Iraq, the Middle East and democracy," spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told the state news agency IRNA.

On Monday, Powell delivered a surprisingly sharp attack on Iran's religious leadership, who he said were guilty of having "dragged the sacred garments of Islam into the political gutter".

"With these sort of comments they are disgracing themselves," Asefi responded, saying the Islamic republic "strongly condemns this open intervention in Iran's internal affairs."

"It is astonishing that the current US administration, which came into power through a tampered election, keeps on talking about democracy," the spokesman added in a jibe at the disputed presidential election that brought US President George W. Bush into office.

Less than a week ago, Bush called on Iran to embrace democracy, in comments that were also angrily condemned here in what has been a mounting rhetorical slanging match between the two old enemies.

Among other things, Iran has also been accused by Washington of harbouring fugitive members of the al-Qaeda terror network, undermining the Middle East peace process, hampering post-war security in Iraq and Afghanistan and using an atomic energy programme as a cover for a secret bid to develop nuclear weapons.

Diplomatic ties were suspended between Washington and Tehran after Islamist students stormed the US embassy in the Iranian capital on November 4, 1979, in the wake of the Islamic revolution, and held its staff hostage there for 444 days.

Habitual chants of "Death to America" are still heard in Iran, where hardliners still refer to the United States as the "Great Satan".

 

Obama admits 'no strategy yet' to fight IS

Libya's troubled interim government steps down

US supplies arms to Lebanon to fight jihadists

Over three million Syrian refugees have fled war

At Venice Film Festival, Iran filmmaker urges West to lift sanctions

US imposes new sanctions on Iran

Britain terror threat level raised to ‘severe’

Libya conflict takes its toll on migrants

UN chief lashes out at 'brutal' IS killings in Iraq

Israel counts losses and gains in Gaza: Heavy cost for 50 days of war

Saudi Crown Prince flies to France next week: Jihadist threat tops agenda

UN confirms capture of UN peacekeepers in Syria Golan

Islamic State executes dozens of Syria soldiers in new atrocity

'Jihad recruiters' arrested in Netherlands, Germany

Saudi Grand Mufti warns youth against ‘perverted’ calls for jihad

Neo-Ottomanism scores new victory in Turkey: From Ataturk to Erdogan

Fire rises up again from under ashes on Lebanon border

Vital aid arrives in war-battered Gaza

Lebanon seeks to tackle child marriage with new legislation

Hollande: Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorists

Egypt quizzes Morsi for 'giving security papers to Qatar'

Top Saudi envoys hold talks with Qatar emir

Obama's warfare doctrine to be tested in Syria

UN moves to impose sanctions on Libya militias

Mother of US hostage to leader of Islamic State: Please spare my son

Turkey ruling party officially approves Davutoglu as new PM

US spy agencies face difficult task in Syria

Saudi Arabia jails 18 militants on terror charges

Gazans breathe sigh of relief

Litany of horrors becomes regular fixture in jihadist-held Syria

Iraq forces mass for onslaught on jihadist siege of Amerli

Doha offers help to rebuild Gaza

Iran alters Arak heavy water reactor over Western worries

New Turkey PM leaves successor troubled legacy

US rules out coordination with Syria on targeting jihadists

Algeria president sacks Belkhadem

Calm reigns over Gaza amid celebrations

Palestinians ‘reach’ long-term Gaza truce with Israel

Barzani: Iran provided us with weapons

US to track jihadists in Syria with spy planes

Top Iran official in Saudi to repair strained ties

Drums of war are beating anew on Capitol Hill

Israel air raid in Gaza kills two Palestinians

Deadly bus tragedy in Egypt

Car bomb rips through Baghdad intersection