Iranian Embassy to Canada
Statement Concerning possible Retaliation by U.S.
Ottawa, Canada
September 19, 2001

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi stated that the Perpetrators of recent terrorist attacks on the U.S. must be identified and punished harshly, but hasty decisions would bear no tangible result to uproot terrorism. He also called attention to possible U.S. retaliation strikes on Afghanistan and expressed concern over the outbreak of a more serious human tragedy in the war torn country, and further stated, “We do not believe in order to punish a bunch of terrorists it is legitimate to attack a country, which would lead to many casualties among civilians”.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, pointed out the “agony of the oppressed people of Afghanistan during the past 25 years” and said “are those Muslim people once more to be crushed under the yoke of war because some people are alleged to have taken part in the attacks involved in the U.S.?”

President Khatami pointed to the fact that terrorism should be eradicated through reasonable and fundamental efforts by all countries of the world, he stressed “any encounter with terrorism cannot be based on hasty or emotional reactions.”

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, wrote to President Khatami to urge him to do more to help with the efforts to combat terrorism. In a reply letter, President Khatami said: “To extend this crisis to the whole world is in no one’s interest. In order to get rid of the scourge of terrorism today more than ever we need perseverance and patience. We should not rush to take revenge. Terrorism is a threat to humanity and needs to be fought in a concerted international effort that deals with the root causes of terrorism.”

Deputy Interior Minister, Gholam-Hossein Bolandian stressed the need for international cooperation to provide relief to Afghan refugees in case of the expected U.S. reprisals. Mr. Bolandian called on world relief communities including UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to plan required emergency aid for the Afghan people whom he said will be facing yet tougher dilemmas than what they are tolerating now once the U.S. raids begin.

Iranians held candles during a vigil in Tehran, September 18, 2001, to mourn the loss of life in the United States after hijackers crashed airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.