Iran urges UNESCO to prevent destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque by Israel

TEHRAN, May 4 (MNA) – Iran on Monday asked the international organizations including UNESCO to stop Israel from making excavations under the Al-Aqsa mosque which is intended to destroy the monument as a world heritage.

“All international cultural institutes especially UNESCO should stop it,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a regular news briefing.


Qashqavi also appealed to all religious figures from all divine religions to rush to stop the move.


Iran rejects State Department report


The spokesman dismissed as absurd an annual report by the U.S. State Department which had accused Iran of state sponsor of terrorism.


He said Israel is the concrete example of state terrorism which is supported by the United States.


“We believe Israel is the symbol of state terrorism….and it is supported by America,” Qashqavi noted.


He added that Iran itself is a victim of terrorism, citing the murder of hundreds of nationals by the terrorist MKO organization in the early days of the Islamic Revolution and the recent terror attacks on Iranian pilgrims inside Iraq which left about 70 persons dead, and the terror attack on Iranian forces in western Kermanshah province by the PJAK group.


In a cowardly act …..terrorists from the PJAK (the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), killed 10 Iranian police offices in Kermansh province.


“We ourselves are victims of terrorism…..and the Mojahedin Khalq Organization group who is protected by the West has killed 16,000 Iranians,” the spokesman noted.


Qashqavi said, “Iran has always been a pioneer in the fight against terrorism.”


No link between presidential polls and nuclear talks


Qashqavi dismissed speculations that Tehran has postponed nuclear talks with the 5+1 group (the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) until the June presidential elections.


“The election issue, as an internal matter, has nothing to do with macro issues,” he explained. “Macro issues are not affected by elections.”


The spokesman said any faction who takes power in Iran will follow foreign policy based on “national interests” defined in the Constitution.


“Anybody who is elected president will continue foreign policy within this framework.”


On April 8 the 5+1 group asked EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana to resume nuclear talks. Since that date Solana and Saeed Jalili, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council secretary and top nuclear negotiator, have discussed Tehran’s nuclear issue on phone.


All political factions in Iran are adamant on nuclear rights. Top reformist presidential contender Mir-Hossein Mousavi has insisted that the right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes is as important as the nationalization of oil in Iran.


The U.S. and a few of its European allies have been pressing Iran to freeze its uranium enrichment activities. Iran as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has right to enrich uranium to run reactors.


The International Atomic Energy Agency is monitoring all the processes of nuclear activities in Iran by installing cameras and making regular inspections.


On a move by a group of U.S. senators who are seeking to penalize foreign companies which are selling petrol to Iran to force Tehran to give up its nuclear program, Qashqavi said, “No sanction can deter us from getting our rights.”


“Our national will is stronger than these sanctions threats.”


He added that the “era of sanctions” has lost its efficiency and joined the past history.


Qashqavi advised the new U.S. officials not to follow the policy of their predecessors.




News Code 33558

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