Letter to Tony Blair PM: Jack Straw’s visit to Iran

Written by Jade in 21 September 01

Date: Friday, September 21, 2001

Ref.: 202 / M / 62

Subject: The Foreign Secretary’s visit to Tehran


Dear Prime Minster

Has long-term economic betterment blinded reason again?

The sudden announcement of the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw’s visit to Tehran next week has made us question the real reason behind the trip. Although President Khatami’s condemnation of the terrorist attacks of last week and the strengthening of the international coalition against State sponsored Terrorism has been given as the motive behind the visit, long term economic gain for the ‘West’ springs to mind. With respect, I would like to pose the following questions:

  1. Have the problems for postponing previous Foreign Secretary’s visits to Iran been overcome?
  2. Has it now been irrevocably confirmed for the British government that the fatwa against Salman Rushdie will not be carried out and that the $2,800,000 prize for his head has been lifted? (The reason given for reinstating ambassadorial relationship with the Islamic Republic in – September 1998.)
  3. Have the rulers of the Islamic Republic accepted that they will no longer support Lebanese Hezbollah, HAMAS and other international terrorist organisations? (US State Department report – Office of Counter-terrorism April 2001)
  4. Has the British government overlooked President Khatami’s vociferous support for the Lebanese Hezbollah?
  5. Has the British government overlooked the fact that during his visit to Syria in May 1999, President Khatami met with Sheikh Hassan Nassrollah the Leader of Lebanese Hezbollah and that during a visit to Iran in April 2001 Sheikh Hassan Nassrollah offered Hezbollah’s full backing for the re-election of President Khatami?
  6. Has the Islamic Republic announced that even if they will not actively participate in bringing about Peace in the Middle East they will not hinder it with their support for HAMAS or Hezbollah or at least to remain neutral?
  7. Has the British government overlooked Articles 122 – 130 of the Islamic Republic’s Constitution relating to the powers of the President or has the British government forgotten article 110 clearly stating the absolute power of the religious Leadership?
  8. Has the British government overlooked the fact that despite President Khatami’s expressed sympathies for the tragedy in USA, during his last term in office he repeatedly admitted to being powerless and incapable of carrying out his duties and promises due to the constitutional restraints on him as his reason for not standing for a second term?

The West’s record of arming and nurturing these regimes and groups in the Middle East for the sake of their own economic and political expediency speaks for itself and it is always the innocent civilians who suffer.

To conclude, if the British Government has achieved to secure the undertaking by the Islamic Republic that it will unilaterally and unequivocally withdraw its support from international terrorism we ask the British government to announce it publicly.

Respectfully yours

Hossein Ladjevardi

President, Association of Iranian Researchers