• Short Summary

    Iranian Deputy Prime Minister Sadeq Tabatabai has embarked on a campaign to improve relations with the Arab world.

  • Description

    Iranian Deputy Prime Minister Sadeq Tabatabai speaking in German followed by Arabic translation

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Iranian Deputy Prime Minister Sadeq Tabatabai has embarked on a campaign to improve relations with the Arab world. He has visited Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon to reassure Arab leaders that his country has no territorial claims on Arab land, nor does it intend to export the Iranian revolution to Arab countries. The charge that Teheran wants to incite Islamic revolutions throughout the Arab world has been made repeatedly in Baghdad, where the Iraqi government has shown concern about Iran's intention....But at a news conference in Beirut, Mr. Tabatabai said on Tuesday (9 October) his countrymen had only taken up arms to defend the principles and beliefs of Islam, not for political reasons.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr. Tabatabai tried to dispel claims that Teheran's tied with the Arab world had become strained following statements by some Iranian leaders calling for revolution in the Gulf and claiming that the island of Bahrain -- now an independent Arab state -- is part of iranian territory. The Head of Iranian Communities Abroad-- Ayatollah Sadek Rouhani -- a close aid to Ayatollah Khomeini, has been particularly vocal in these claims. But as part of iran's Arabic campaign, Mr. Tabatabai has played down the importance of Rouhani.

    Mr. Tabatabai referred to the Iranian Revolution as a means to safeguard the doctrines of Islam. Alluding to the Shah, he said the Iranians had won a victory over its military enemies, and the country would continue to strive to prevent a similar enemy arising. The Deputy Prime Minister told the news conference that the Shah had paid 200 million dollars to finance the Kurdish rebellion. He claimed the money was paid three weeks ago to two officers through the Shah's son-in-law and former ambassador to the United States Ardashir Zahedi. Mr. Tabatabai also claimed Iranian authorities had recently arrested a number of foreigners in Kurdistan, including eight officers from what he described as "a sinister country".

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