of the Iranian president has referred to the disclosures by WikiLeaks as 'lies.'
In an interview with the Allgemeine Zeitung, he also commented on the
two German journalists detained in Iran: there are to be no espionage charges.
Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, chief-of-staff and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's closest aide, has joined the Iranian government chorus that WikiLeaks is really part of an American intelligence operation.
"These documents can't
be authentic," EsfandiarRahim-Mashaei,
chief-of-staff and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's closest advisor, tells
the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
According to Rahim-Mashaei, Washington intentionally had the reports published
in order to damage Iranís relationship with its Arab neighbors. As stated by the accounts in American Embassy cables which were disclosed by WikiLeaks, Saudi
King Abdullah demanded that Washington "cut off the head of the Iranian
snake." Rahim-Mashaei, who is a central figure
in Tehranís power structure and is considered a possible candidate for the next
presidential election, replied: "We donít take this seriously." According
to him, the posts on the Internet portal would "certainly not have any
negative impact on Iranís relationships with the Arab world.
In the West, the embassy
cables have created a considerable stir, because of fears that they might
exacerbate the conflict between Iran and other nations in the region. Rahim-Mashaei referred to the reports as being, "part
of America's policy against us." He says the Americans have long tried to
show that "other countries in the region are against Iran and that they
No Espionage Charges Against German
In the interview, EsfandiarRahim-Mashaei also
commented on the German
journalists detained in Iran: "We have no evidence that they were
working as spies." He said the two Germans had broken the law by entering
the country on tourist visas and then working as journalists. But there had
never been any mention of espionage charges. According to Rahim-Mashaei,
the Iranian government is working to enable both journalists to spend Christmas
with their families at the German Embassy in Tehran. "Weíre very
optimistic," the presidential advisor said. ††
Is it time for Islam to set aside punishements like stoning and amputation? Above, a women demonstrates against the sentence of death-by-stoning of Iranian woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, near the Eiffel Tower, Paris, Aug. 28.
He also said that it isn't
clear when the two would be released, and that this was a matter for the
judiciary. "But because of our friendly relations with the German
government and German people, we're able to take a positive approach." Two
days ago, the German Embassy was given consular access to the two journalists
for the third time. One of them was able to talk to his family on the telephone
and both received gifts from their families.
The two Germans, a reporter
and photographer with Bild am Sonntag, were
arrested in October in Tabriz, northern Iran, where they intended to interview
the son of SakinehAshtiari, a woman who
has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery [see box, right]. In mid-November,
citing the Chief Justice of Tabriz, Iran's Fars News Agency reported that
the German journalists were accused of espionage.
Help Support Worldmeets.us
Worldmeets.us is a non-partisan, volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that operates solely in the public interest. The opinions expressed in articles posted by Worldmeets.us are not necessarily those of Worldmeets.us, its sponsors or its volunteers.