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* Missed messages on Iran  Robert Kagan

* Envoy Condemns US Officials' Irresponsible Comments on Iran  News Report

* 'Israel will be destroyed if it attacks Iran'  News Report

* Warning of long war if Israel attacks Iran  News Report

* Iran unlikely to halt nuclear program, secret letters show  News Report

* Iran denies Ahmadi-Nejad was attacked  News Report

* Sanctions set stage for a new push on Iran  News Report

* اطلاعیۀ آیت الله منتطری دربارۀ حرام بودن مقاومت در برابر رأی مردم  Ali Behrooz

* لیست اسامی با حروف فارسی، تا تاریخ 08/09/08  Ali Behrooz

* War of words, or words of war  Ali Behrooz

* Could Israel use submarines against Iran?  News Report

* Iran deplores UAE claim on 3 islands  News Report

* 'Iran will respond to any attack'  News Report

* Carter to meet Hamas leadership in Cairo  News Report

* No Peace Without Hamas  News Report

* Ahmadinejad again voices Sept. 11 doubts  News Report

* Clinton, Obama tackle Iran issue in debate  News Report

* Bomb kills at least 9 in Iran mosque  News Report

* Iran demands Israel stop force threats  News Report

* Ahmadinejad to dismiss 2 cabinet ministers in Iran  News Report

* Iran: Naval encounter routine check  News Report

* Tony Blair's Palestine  News Report

* Clinton attacks Obama and McCain over Iraq  News Report

* Reza Pahlavi: Leadership for Democracy in Iran  News Report

* Petraeus: Return to 'pre-surge' troop levels, then wait  News Report

* Blast rocks US complex in Sanaa  News Report

* Clashes in Nile Delta after strike aborted  News Report

* When a great power goes mad  News Report

* Iranians defy censor with bootleg DVDs  News Report

* Putin says Iran is no threat  News Report

* Creating a US-Iran Bridge  News Report

* Court removes PKK from terror funds list  News Report

* 12 militants wanted by Israel flee Palestinian jail in West Bank after fight  News Report

* Limiting Tehran’s Influence?  Ali Behrooz

* UAE detains ship as grip on Tehran tightens  News Report

* Iranian critic not guilty of espionage  News Report

* Israelis and Palestinians pledge to reach peace pact by end of 2008  News Report

* Conference in Qom focuses on Iran-US challenges  News Report

* FM spokesman: Iran's plan on Iraq not put for voting  News Report

* Iran's top dissident cleric calls for U.S. talks  News Report

* Islamic militants take fight against Musharraf to 'Pakistan's Switzerland'  News Report

* 'Desperate' Musharraf declares martial law  News Report

* US Sanctions on Iran Leave Europeans in a Quandary  Sir Cyril Townsend

* After Thamilselvan  News Report

* Analysis: Is Abbas playing his cards right ahead of ME summit?  News Report

* Bahrain accuses Iran of nuclear weapons lie  News Report

* Senior Tamil Tiger leader killed  News Report

* US declares PKK 'a common enemy'  News Report

* Iran urged to join Gulf nuclear deal  News Report

* Iran's leaders need enemies like Bush, and at every turn he obliges them  News Report

* Giuliani hits Democrats on Iran  News Report

* Iran: We have no information on Arad  News Report

* Clinton hails US move on Iran  News Report

* Israel to prepare for potential missile attack  News Report

* US First Lady in Kuwait  News Report

* Rice: Mideast solution in jeopardy  News Report

* Kurdish fighters defy the world from mountain fortress as bombing begins  News Report

* Protesters confront Condoleezza Rice as she testifies on Middle East  News Report

* Showdown With Iran  News Report

* U.S. outlines Baghdad security handover plan  News Report

* Poll shows global opposition to Iran - and U.S.  News Report

* Iraq promises Turkey it will curb Kurdish rebels  News Report

* Big shoes to fill  News Report

* LUKOIL says halts Iran oil project on US sanctions  News Report

* Three soldiers killed in Darfur camp attack - UN  News Report

* There's a better - and cheaper - way that Washington can help Lebanon  News Report

* Lebanese patience for Nahr al-Bared displaced wears thin  News Report

* Iran, Syria urge diplomatic means instead of military incursion into Iraq  News Report

* Talabani refuses to deliver PKK leaders to Turkey amid protests against incursion  News Report

* Turkey vows to defeat PKK rebels  News Report

* Iran N-case on Olmert's Paris agenda  News Report

* Motaki (FM): US in No Position to Attack Iran  News Report

* We will fight to the death, Kurdish rebel leader vows from his hideout  News Report

* Deaths And Hostages In Border Clash  News Report

* Flash News: Kurdish separatistand 12 Turkish soldiers killed  News Report

* IRGC Commander:Aggressions to Be Reciprocated with a Rain of Rockets  News Report

* 2 leaders back Blair as European Union president  News Report

* Babacan stresses dialogue as key to solving Lebanese crisis  News Report

* Jordan hopes for positive outcome of Annapolis meeting  News Report

* Iran's nuclear negotiator resigns  News Report

* Larijani Resigns  Ali Behrooz

* NATO says shipment of roadside bombs was 'from Iran'  News Report

* Israel impeding effort to clear cluster bombs  News Report

* Bhutto defiant over bomb attack  News Report

* Democrats' stance on Iran criticized  News Report

* Top Palestinian negotiator may resign  News Report

* UN condemns killing of its truck drivers in Darfur  News Report

* Kurds sign oil deals beyond regional borders – former minister  News Report

* Jerusalem is ours, warns Likud  News Report

* Rice back in Israel after Egypt talks  News Report

* Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane workers in southern Iran go on strike  News Report

* Ahmadinejad: Caspian states to form economic cooperation organization  News Report

* Putin lands in Iran for nuke talks  News Report

* Mideast Conference and the Illusive Peace  News Report

* Coalition of the Reluctant  News Report

* World bank neglects African farming, study says  News Report

* Putin dismisses threat of assassination in Iran  News Report

* Israel signals readiness to cede parts of Jerusalem to Palestinians  News Report

* Christiane Amanpour: 'People think I relax with a Kalashnikov - I don't'  News Report

* After honeymoon, Sarkozy method poses three risks  News Report


Iran's top dissident cleric calls for U.S. talks
[ News Report]  [2007-11-06 13:49:45]
[Source: Reuters - 06/11/07]


By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's government should hold direct talks with the United States to avoid possible military action against the Islamic Republic, the country's top dissident cleric said in a speech.

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, an architect of the Islamic revolution, was among Iranian leaders who endorsed the 444-day occupation of the U.S. embassy shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, when 52 Americans were taken hostage.

The event led Washington to break diplomatic ties, which Montazeri said should now be restored.

"The nuclear row should be resolved through direct talks with America to avoid a war. Talks about a possible military action should be taken seriously," Montazeri told pro-reform students on Friday in remarks faxed to Reuters on Tuesday.

Criticizing the handling of Iran's nuclear policy is unusual and sensitive because it is seen as a matter of national security.

Increasingly angry rhetoric between Washington and Tehran has sparked speculation about a possible U.S. military attack against Iran over its refusal to halt sensitive atomic work, which the West says is a cover to build atomic bombs.

Tehran insists its atomic work is peaceful.

Iranian officials have dismissed the threat of U.S. military action and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called it a U.S. "dream". Iran says it is fully prepared to defend itself, warning Washington of a "quagmire deeper than Iraq."

Montazeri said Iranian authorities were mistaken if they believed "an attack would rally Iranians to the leadership as they did during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war".

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the last say on all state matters, including the nuclear issue.

"People have changed. They are not willing to sacrifice their lives like they did during the Iraq war," said Montazeri, who was kept under house arrest in Shi'ite Iran's holy city of Qom from 1998 until 2003.

Iran's biggest reformist party last month also warned of an escalating crisis with the international community, calling for a review of Tehran's nuclear policy.

"ILLEGAL AND UNISLAMIC"

Montazeri was hailed as "the fruit of my life" by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, late founder of the revolution, who designated him as his successor. Montazeri fell from grace in 1988 after criticizing Iran's rulers.

Montazeri criticized the clerical establishment for "repression", saying the harsh sentences given to political prisoners by the judiciary were "illegal and unIslamic".

"It is against the constitution," said Montazeri, who was one of the writers of Iran's constitution.

Pro-reform students and academics have criticized Ahmadinejad, who came to power in 2005, for clamping down on dissidents but the president and his government insist they support free speech and welcome constructive opposition.

Students and activists say some of those who have spoken out against Ahmadinejad and his government have been detained or blacklisted from university courses.

(Editing by Dominic Evans)

 





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