Rafansajni Says Iran Will Buy U.S. Arms Only on Its Own Terms With AM-US-Iran Rdp Bjt
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Hashemi Rafsanjani, speaker of Iran’s Parliament, says Iran will buy arms from the United States only on its own terms although it needs weapons for its war with Iraq, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported Monday.
The official Iranian agency, monitored in Nicosia, said Rafsanjani spoke Sunday to a group of defense officials led by Defense Minister Mohammad Hussein Jalali.
″Regardless of Iran’s need for military hardware, the Islamic Republic will never agree to being subordinated in its relations with any country, be it the United States or France,″ IRNA quoted Rafsanjani as saying.
Both America and Iran have been engulfed in debate over the clandestine shipment of U.S. arms to Iran this year by President Reagan in an attempt to improve relations despite a 1979 embargo on weapons sales to Iran.
Rafsanjani, one of the most powerful figures in Iran, said the United States has frozen Iranian assets and refuses to ship spare parts paid for during the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown in 1979.
Rafsanjani says the United States and France have tried to make approaches to Iran to patch up relations with Tehran.
These have been strained since the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the pro-Western shah. Both countries have citizens held hostage by pro-Iranian Shiite Moslems in Lebanon.
On Sunday, Rafsanjani thanked Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for preventing possible sedition by lawmakers who demanded details about contacts between Tehran and Washington.
″I hope we shall not have to face such acrimonious issues any longer,″ Rafsanjani told the Majlis, or parliament. He was quoted by Tehran radio in a broadcast monitored in Nicosia.
Last week, eight deputies submitted a letter to the Majlis asking Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati to tell the house about the nature of contacts with the United States.
Khomeini, the 86-year-old revolutionary patriarch, on Thursday criticized the deputies for creating division among officials, saying: ″Your tone in the Majlis was harsher than the tone of Israel, than those in the palaces,″ a reference to American leaders.
Tehran radio, monitored in London, said the letter had been condemned by other deputies who expressed to Khomeini their ″regret and disgust.″ The eight deputies withdrew their letter after Khomeini’s remarks, the radio said.
Rafsanjani said Sunday that Khomeini’s intervention ″prevented the occurrence of a possible sedition, which might have harmed our unity,″ Tehran radio reported.