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Rafsanjani's Recent Statements from Iran

Tuesday, December 18, 2001
Iran's Rafsanjani suggests nuclear attack on Israel

One of Iran's most influential ruling clerics called on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapon against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them "damages only".

The speech by former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani failed to catch the attention of the western press but made waves in the Middle East.

" If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in its possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world", Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran.

Analysts told the Iranian Press Service that Rafsanjani's speech marks the first time a prominent leader of the Islamic Republic had openly suggested the use of nuclear weapon against the Jewish State. Rafsanjani advised Western states not to pin their hopes on Israel's violence because it will be "very dangerous".

" We are not willing to see security in the world is harmed", he said, warning that a war "of the pious and martyrdom seeking forces against peaks of colonialism will be highly dangerous and might fan flames of World War III."

Rafsanjani, who, as the Chairman of the Assembly to Discern the interests of the State, is the Islamic Republic's number two man after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He was speaking on "International Qods (Jerusalem) Day" which is celebrated in Iran only.

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