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".

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli

Israel approves plans for 1,000 settler homes in East Jerusalem

Tunisians punish Islamists with massive vote to secular parties

Israel in new show of apartheid: Arabs off Jewish buses!

Abadi in Jordan to seek greater cooperation in battle against ‘Islamic State’

Jihadist activity flourishes in southern Libya

Yemen army allies with Huthi rebels to expel Qaeda

Syria regime air strikes kill 13 children in Homs

‘Outrageous decisions’ fuel new power struggle in Somalia