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".

 

Tunisia votes for president in final leg of democratic transition

Barzani in Mount Sinjar after end of jihadist siege

Egypt President removes powerful spy chief

UAE blames 'irresponsible' non-OPEC output for oil price plunge

Turkey TV regulator fines popular show over ‘dance with foreigners’

Coalition targets ‘Islamic State’ in areas north of Aleppo

Libya Islamist-backed government urges foreigners to return to Tripoli

Palestinians enter Egypt as Rafah crossing reopens for two days

Davutoglu accuses EU of 'dirty campaign' against Turkey

Raid on terrorists accidentally kills Saudi youth in Awamiya town

Egypt sentences ‘spy for Israel’ to ten years in prison

Jordan ends eight-year moratorium on death penalty

Turkey acquits sociologist over 1998 explosion

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide

UK troops mistreated Iraq detainees in 2004

Saudi to carry on massive public spending

Iran to Australia: We warned you about the gunman

From bikini to Jihad in Ceuta, Melilla

Tunisia votes Sunday in second round of presidential poll

Islamist militias launch air strike near key Libyan oil terminals

Egypt refers 312 Islamists to military courts

Turkey rejects EU criticism over media arrests

Kerry meets chief Palestinian negotiator

Saudi cleric sparks uproar for showing wife’s face

15,000 march against country’s ‘Islamisation’ in eastern Germany

Key oil producers face uncertain outlook in 2015