Vice President Abtahi said in an interview with the Financial Times that Iran should pursue a policy of détente with the US, but organs beyond and above the Khatami administration, including the Supreme Leader, preach mistrusting the US. July 19, 2004 - The Islamic government’s reformist faction has “attempted to ease rising tensions with the US over Tehran’s role in Iraq, its nuclear program and its alleged links to al-Qaeda,” London’s Financial Times reports in an item by Gareth Smyth.
“Over the weekend Mohammed Ali Abtahi, one of Iran's vice-presidents, called for détente with Washington, while Ali Yunesi, the reformist intelligence minister, told state television that Iran had dismantled all al-Qaeda branches in the country,” it reports.
“Their remarks were made after media reports in the US suggested that the commission investigating the September 11 attacks would conclude that some of the hijackers passed through Iran between October 2000 and February 2001.”
“Iran should continue a policy of détente with the US, and keep away fro things that can become a big political critis,” Abtabi told the FT.
“In cases like relations with the US, it is not solely the [Iranian] government that can make decisions," he said. “There are other organizations, and particularly the Supreme Leader, who have their own ideas and opinions. And the main point of the Supreme Leader is, ‘Mistrust the US’.”