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IRAN: US destabilization efforts
We reported reliable Washington statements that the US intends to destabilize Iran through riots. Iran knows what is going on. It sent an official protest to the US over what it called blatant interference in its internal affairs after Washington cheered six nights of pro-democracy protests. Since its swift victory in neighboring Iraq, Washington has stepped up pressure on Iran, accusing it of seeking nuclear weapons, backing terrorism, and applauding demonstrations against Islamic clerical rule. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said a demarche had been communicated to Washington through the Swiss embassy. Gunshots rang out overnight near Tehran University, the focus of the unrest, but witnesses said the atmosphere was much calmer than on previous nights when hard-line vigilantes wielding clubs, chains, and knives had attacked the demonstrators. US President George Bush welcomed the protests as a positive development on Sunday. "This is the beginning of people expressing themselves toward a free Iran, which I think is positive," Bush said. "America is waging a psychological war against Iran," newspapers quoted Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi as saying. National Security Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai said Washington was testing the ground for further action against Iran. In the last 18-months, US-led forces have toppled the rulers of Iran's neighbors Iraq and Afghanistan. US officials say they would welcome a change of government in Tehran, although they stop short of embracing a policy of "regime change" (Reuters, 8/17/03).
Ronald Hilton - 6/26/03