News

 

DATE=12/14/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-224110

TITLE=IRAN/U-S (L)

BYLINE=JESSICA JONES

DATELINE=CAIRO

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



INTRO:  PRESIDENT MUHAMMAD KHATAMI OF IRAN SAYS HE WANTS TO HAVE 

WHAT HE CALLS -- THOUGHTFUL -- DIALOGUE WITH THE UNITED STATES.  

IT IS IRAN'S MOST PRONOUNCED CALL FOR POSSIBLE RECONCILIATION 

WITH THE U-S SINCE THE COUNTRY'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION IN 1979.  

JESSICA JONES HAS MORE FROM OUR MIDDLE EAST BUREAU. 



TEXT:  PRESIDENT KHATAMI TOLD A NEWS CONFERENCE SUNDAY IN TEHERAN

HE WANTS TO HAVE A TALK SOON WITH THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED 

STATES, BUT HE DID NOT SAY WHAT FORM THAT DIALOGUE WOULD TAKE.



HE IMPLIED SUCH A DIALOGUE WOULD INCLUDE THE U-S GOVERNMENT, 

THOUGH HE ACCUSED U-S POLITICIANS OF HAVING FALLEN BEHIND THE 

TIMES.  HE SAID IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD THAT HAS BECOME 

MULTI-POLAR, THE UNITED STATES STILL IMAGINES IT IS THE SOLE 

POWER AND IT MUST IMPOSE ITS POWER ON THE WORLD AT ANY COST. 



MR. KHATAMI IS A MODERATE SHITTE MUSLIM WHO WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT

LAST MAY.  SINCE THEN HE HAS SOFTENED RELATIONS WITH OTHER ARAB 

NATIONS, INCLUDING PRO-WESTERN SAUDI ARABIA.  



HE HAS ALSO RE-ESTABLISHED DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH THE EUROPEAN 

UNION, WHILE AT HOME HE HAS EASED THE STRICT RULES GOVERNING HOW 

WOMEN CAN DRESS AND WHETHER IRANIANS CAN WATCH SATELLITE 

TELEVISION.  NOT ONCE SINCE TAKING OFFICE HAS HE USED THE OLD 

IRANIAN REVOLUTIONARY DEFINITION OF THE UNITED STATES AS -- THE 

GREAT SATAN.



HE TOLD REPORTERS (SUNDAY) INSTEAD OF SPEAKING TO EACH OTHER WITH

THE LANGUAGE OF FORCE, WE SHOULD LEARN TO SPEAK WITH THE LANGUAGE

OF REASON.



MR. KHATAMI ALSO DISMISSED EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH PEACE WITH 

ISRAEL, WHICH HE DESCRIBED AS -- RACIST AND EXPANSIONIST.  HE 

SAID ARAB COUNTRIES THAT HAD TRIED POLITICAL DIALOGUE WITH ISRAEL

HAD GAINED NOTHING.



THE UNITED STATES SEVERED TIES WITH IRAN IN 1979 AFTER ISLAMIC  

MILITANTS STORMED THE U-S EMBASSY IN TEHERAN AND TOOK 52 

AMERICANS HOSTAGE FOR MORE THAN A YEAR.  THE UNITED STATES HAS 

TRIED TO OSTRACIZE IRAN AND HAS CALLED IT A TOP SPONSOR OF 

TERRORISM. 



BUT A WELL-ATTENDED INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC SUMMIT HELD IN TEHERAN 

LAST WEEK SHOWED IRAN HAS GAINED WIDE ACCEPTANCE FROM OTHER 

MUSLIM COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.   (SIGNED) 



NEB/JJ/DW/RAE 



14-Dec-97 2:35 PM EST (1935 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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