Former Iranian president wants troops out of Afghanistan

March 25th, 2009 - 7:40 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, March 25 (DPA) Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has urged Australia and other western nations to withdraw from Afghanistan, news reports said Wednesday.
“We see that some troops are coming all the way from the other side of the world to establish peace and security there,” Khatami told students at the Australian National University in Canberra. “We tell them, leave them alone, they would not cry any more.”

Khatami is on an visit to Australia sponsored by Melbourne’s La Trobe University.

In Canberra, Khatami ducked questions about Iran’s nuclear programme, co-existence with Israel, treatment of Baha’is and women.

La Trobe University’s Professor Joseph Camilleri defended the decision to host Khatami.

“There is a very deep clash between his world view and the policies he advocates, and some of the real hardliners in Iran,” Camilleri said. “I think, therefore, his approach represents a significant window of opportunity which needs to be explored.”

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