Tehran Times Political Desk, Tehran Times, Sept. 17, 2007
TEHRAN - U.S. President George W. Bush will definitely be tried at an international tribunal, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said in a sermon at this week’s Friday prayers in Tehran.
The Mehr News Agency interviewed a number of political figures on Saturday and Sunday to learn their views on the issue.
“World public opinion, even U.S. public opinion, is demanding that Bush be put on trial,” Center for Contemporary Iranian History Chairman Abbas Salimi Namin said.
“Of course, it seems somewhat difficult under the current circumstances, in which the Western states dominate international organizations, but it is most unlikely that the current state of affairs will last forever,” he added.
“The rising tide of protests against the White House and Bush and the opposition to the unilateral and warmongering approaches of the United States will change the situation over time,” Salimi Namin noted.
“Saddam was a criminal, but we see that during the occupation of Iraq, there has been a rise in terrorism and other criminal activities, and the same happened in Afghanistan, where drug trafficking and terrorism increased,” he observed.
He described Bush as a “pawn” on the political chessboard, saying, “Those who control the White House would probably like to blame a pawn named Bush for all their crimes.”
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami of the Assembly of Experts said, “The words of the Supreme Leader on the trial of Bush reflect a global desire.”
Ayatollah Khamenei spoke about a global demand and not just calls for a trial from the Islamic world, he added.
Kuwaiti national security advisor Sami Naser Khalifa said U.S. policies have caused a rise in terrorism and instability in the Middle East.
“Bush is responsible for countless crimes against humanity, and most people on this Earth want to see him tried in an international court,” he stated.
“The U.S. government used to interfere in the internal affairs of regional countries until it chose military intervention for the liberation of Kuwait in the early 1990s, and since then it uses direct military force to confront any group that does not kowtow to its Middle East policies,” he explained.
“The U.S. is entrapped in the Iraqi quagmire and cannot do anything,” he said.
Iranian-American anti-war activist Ardeshir Ommani emphasized the need to put Bush on trial for committing war crimes and said the anti-war movement in the U.S. will make the utmost efforts to show U.S. citizens that their government’s adventurism in regard to Iran would have serious repercussions since Iranians would definitely defend their country in the event of a foreign attack.
About 100,000 people participated in a demonstration in front of the White House and the Congress on Saturday to protest against Bush’s warmongering policies in Iraq. At least 190 demonstrators were arrested by the police.
Anti-war demonstrations, led by a few peace groups, are going to be held in response to the statements of Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, which these groups believe are attempting to justify the continued presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, Ommani explained.
The demonstrations, organized by the International Action Center, the UFTJ, and Answer, will continue until September 29, he said.
“In our gathering in Washington, we will try to neutralize the propaganda of Gen. Petraeus and Ryan Crocker,” Ommani added.
He went on to say that former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark has recently called for Bush to be tried as a war criminal since he is not really trying to resolve the Iraq crisis.