Bahai News - Kharrazi Right Man for the Job
Date: Sunday, March 12, 2000
Kharrazi Right Man for the Job
Part 1 --Now almost after three years, all pundits believe that
President Seyed Mohammad Khatami's top foreign policy-maker Kamal
Kharrazi is the right man for the post of foreign minister.
political climate in respect of Iran's relations with both East and West
are satisfactory, and one can easily expect even better relations.
Earlier the Iranian officials were reluctant to open Iran's doors to the
West. President Khatami was the first president to visit Italy, Vatican
Iran believed and still believes in an independent
policy with no meddling from outside. But the fact is that the
interpretation of this policy was not completely correct. Some
interpreted this policy in such a way that Iran should close its doors
to the outsiders, and that no issues related to Iran's internal affairs
should be raised.
The fact is that the world in which we live is not
perfect, nor can anyone claim his or her society is flawless. Some flaws
may be detected in respect of human rights and treatment of the
religious and ethnic minorities.
As journalists, we consider it our
duty to write about the oppression committed against the Blacks in the
United States or minorities in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.
Others may also feel entitled to talk about similar flaws in Iran. Why
not? After all, we are all humans and humans can make mistakes.
Thus, constructive criticism may greatly help to remove those flaws.
Last January, Kharrazi visited London, where he met with Prime Minister
Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook. During his meetings with
the British officials, Kharrazi raised the issue of the representation
of the British Muslim minority in the Lower and Upper Houses of
Kharrazi's hosts promised that they would look into the
matter and try to improve the situation.
Similarly, Blair and Cook
discussed with the Iranian foreign minister the issue of human rights
and similar issues related to Iran, and Kharrazi gave proper replies to
Last week, Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini
and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer were hosted by Kharrazi.
Both the host and the guests, while talking to the reporters, admitted
that the exchange of visits and views was the most useful and effective
way of bridging the gap over some issues.
Fischer, from the Green
Party in the German Socialist-led coalition government, raised such
issues as Jews, bahais and weapons. Kharrazi, for his part,
presented facts and clarified Iran's stance on these issues, and his
guest voiced satisfaction with his explanations.
Germany was Iran's
greatest trading partner until 1996, when a German court in Berlin
issued a ruling accusing the Iranian officials of involvement in the
murder of some Kurdish dissidents in Mykonos restaurant in Berlin.
Moreover, the arrest of a German businessman Helmut Hofer on charges of
having illicit relations with an Iranian woman in 1997 further soured
the relations between the two countries.
Hofer was finally released
on Jan. 20, 2000.
Last Wednesday, when Kharrazi and Fischer were
addressing a press conference, hundreds of victims of chemical weapons
supplied by the German firms and deployed by Iraq during its imposed war
on Iran staged a sit-in in front of the German Embassy in Tehran.
Kharrazi assured the victims of chemical weapons that their grievances
would be on the agenda of his talks with the visiting German
During his talks with Fischer, Kharrazi denounced the
German companies that had supplied chemical weapons to the Iraqi
Fischer also slammed those companies and considered the sale
of toxic chemicals as an illegal business.
He noted that We are
prepared to rectify any past mistake.'' The Iranian foreign minister
further raised with his German counterpart the issue of an Iranian
citizen Kazem Darabi, who is serving a jail term in Germany. Later,
addressing a press conference, Kharrazi announced that the case of
Darabi was no longer an obstacle to bilateral ties.
The two sides
also discussed the Middle East issue. The Iranian minister said that
Israel must withdraw from South Lebanon, and that the Lebanese Hizbollah
has a legitimate right to resist the oppression committed by the Israeli
regime against the Lebanese people.
Fischer, commenting on the
Middle East issue, said that his country supports the Middle East peace
process and hopes that the rights of the Syrians, the Lebanese, the
Jordanians and the Palestinians will be restored.' He appealed for
Iran's constructive role in the peace process.
In response, the
Iranian official made it clear that Iran wants a real peace in the
Following the two days of official talks, which were held
between the two countries after almost one decade, both sides expressed
satisfaction with the outcome.
Fischer's visit also paved the way
for a visit by President Khatami to Germany in spring.
will be exchanged between Iranian and European officials, as British
Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is due to arrive here very soon.
visits and exchange of views will help to foil the propaganda spread by
the counterrevolutionaries and some biased media against the Islamic
Republic. Iran has been a victim of a smear campaign ever since the
victory of the Islamic Revolution. Therefore, efforts should be made to
present to other nations a real picture of Iran and its revolution, and
Foreign Minister Kharrazi and his colleagues are doing a good job to
©Copyright 2000, Tehran Times
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