TEHRAN, Sept. 2 (Mehr News Agency) - Polish Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski arrived in Tehran last Saturday for talks with Iranian officials on issues of mutual interest, bilateral cooperation, and the latest regional developments, particularly the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his two-day stay in Tehran, Szmajdzinski met President Mohammad Khatami, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani, and Interior Minister Abdulvahed Mousavi Lari.

In his talks with the visiting Polish defense minister, Khatami voiced Iran's concerns about the continuing instability in Iraq and highlighted the need to recognize the Iraqis' right to self-determination.

 

Poland will soon take charge of security in central and southern Iraq. Therefore, Polish officials must quickly learn the idiosyncrasies of the region.

 

The Islamic Republic was opposed to the occupation of Iraq from the very beginning and has always stressed that the fate of the country must be determined by the Iraqis themselves under the auspices of the United Nations. 

 

The U.S. and Britain turned a blind eye to international protests in the run-up to the Iraq campaign and the ensuing war, and now have found themselves in a quandary from which they are having difficulty extracting themselves.   

 

Developments in Iraq have shown that U.S. and British officials misunderstood the sentiments of the Iraqi people, failing to realize that they would show strong opposition to the presence of foreign troops in their country.

 

The U.S. and Britain have also failed to establish freedom and democracy in Iraq, and are even unable to provide security for the Iraqi people.

 

The recent bomb attacks in Baghdad and Najaf show the U.S. and British inability to normalize the situation and restore peace and stability in Iraq. The occupiers are the only ones who should be held accountable for the deteriorating security situation, regardless of who is engineering the terror attacks.

 

The U.S., as the occupier, has failed to carry out the duties of an occupation force. Furthermore, U.S. troops in Iraq are still cooperating with the internationally outlawed terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO). This gives the lie to Washington's claim that it is spearheading a global campaign against terrorism.

 

The fact of the matter is that the U.S. believes that it can allay the discontent of the Iraqis with the presence of foreign troops by dispatching multinational troops to the country. However, the Iraqi nation considers all foreign troops to be occupiers, regardless of their nationality. The Polish defense minister would be advised to take precautions so that his country's troops do not get bogged down in the quagmire of Iraq, as appears to be the case for the U.S. and British troops.

 

Polish troops should also make efforts to speed up the transfer of power to the Iraqi people. This is an extremely significant point, since the Iraqi people's patience will begin to wear thin if the situation does not improve soon.

 

AA/HG

End

 

MNA

News Code 1611

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