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FW: Rafsanjani says Mideast nuclear conflict possible

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  • Tom LaRussa
    Rafsanjani says Mideast nuclear conflict possible ©2001 IranMania & AFP
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 17, 2001
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      Rafsanjani says Mideast nuclear conflict possible

      ©2001 IranMania & AFP
      http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=8068&NewsKind=Current+Affairs

      Former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
      warned of nuclear conflict in the Middle East.


      TEHRAN, Dec 14 (AFP) - Former president Ali Akbar
      Hashemi Rafsanjani raised the spectre Friday of
      possible nuclear conflict in the Middle East.

      Rafsanjani, speaking at the weekly Muslim prayers
      in Tehran, said that because Israel does not have
      enough soldiers to defend itself, Western powers
      had "provided her with unconventional arms of mass
      destruction, chemical and nuclear."

      "The use of an atomic bomb against Israel would
      totally destroy Israel, while (the same) against
      the Islamic world would only cause damage. Such a
      scenario is not inconceivable," he said.

      Rafsanjani, who heads Iran's powerful Expediency
      Council, said that "if the Islamic world armed
      itself with the same arms, then that equilibrium
      would be broken".

      But "we do not want the world to fall victim to
      insecurity, and we do not want the confrontation
      ... to turn into World War Three. That is the
      worst that could happen."

      He was speaking at Tehran University, where tens
      of thousands of demonstrators converged Friday in
      a march of solidarity with the Palestinian
      uprising against Israeli occupation.

      President Mohammed Khatami, as well as a number of
      cabinet ministers, MPs and other leading figures,
      participated in the march.

      Similar marches were held across the country to
      mark "World Qods (Jerusalem) Day," instituted in
      1980 by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,
      founder of Iran's Islamic republic.
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