President Mohammad Khatami's Phone Call with Tony Blair
Press Release from Iranian Embassy to Canada
Ottawa, Canada
September 21, 2001

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, in a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, on Thursday reflected hasty retaliatory reaction against Afghans: “A human catastrophe should not be responded with another human catastrophe and the innocent people in Afghanistan and other places should not be struck. The Islamic world and the West may be at odds over certain issues like Palestine, but they have condemned terrorism and the last week’s terrorist attacks on the U.S. Like many Western leaders, the Islamic Republic of Iran is concerned with certain efforts under way by extremists to fuel the ongoing tension.”

Following the telephone conversation of British Prime Minister Tony Blair to President Khatami, Mr. Blair stated: “ this phone call in itself was a remarkable conversation. Not simply did he give his full solidarity in terms of what had happened in the USA and his strong condemnation of terrorism, but also said how important it was that out of that, we rebuild the relations between our two countries.”

Jack Straw announced Friday that next week he will travel to Tehran and become the first British Foreign Secretary to visit Iran since the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Straw stated that: “The President and the government of Iran have been powerful in their opposition to the Taliban. Iran has suffered very badly as a result of the instability and extremism of the Taliban and has had to face a very, very severe refugee problem on its border”.

Iran, which is itself a victim of terrorism, backs any U.N. led alliance to root out such ‘inhumane phenomenon’, announced Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi here Wednesday. Reviewing recent international developments in a phone call with the European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, Kharrazi said Muslim Nations had unanimously condemned September 11 attacks on New York and Washington as Islam strongly opposes any kind of terrorism. He referred to the imminent U.S. retaliation against Afghanistan, and feared the assault would unleash a fresh influx of Afghan refugees to neighbouring countries.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hamid Asefe said: “under no circumstances would Iran allow Saudi-born Osama bin laden – Washington’s prime suspect in last week’s suicide attacks on U.S. landmarks to enter the country after senior Afghan clerics urged him to leave Afghanistan.

The Head of the Iranian Red Crescent Organization sent a message of condolence to the Red Cross of the United States of America.