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Khatami Praises Hizballah at Harvard

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Speaking at Harvard University, the Ayatollah Mohammad Khatami denied that Hizballah is a terrorist organization, and called it “a symbol of Arab resistance.”

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami said on Sunday Hizbollah was a symbol of Arab resistance and that groups or nations fighting oppression could not be equated with terrorists.

Khatami said there was a difference between those who “strive for the territorial integrity of a country and those who kill only to kill.” His comments, through an interpreter, came in reply to a student question after he delivered a speech at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

He called Hizbollah, which fought a 34-day war with Israel in Lebanon this summer and is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, “a symbol of Arabic resistance.” Washington has accused Iran of arming Hizbollah guerrillas. …

Khatami, a cleric who was Iran’s president from 1997 to 2005 and was considered a reformist, also denied Iran financed terrorist groups, contradicting assertions by the United States.

Replying to the same student, who repeated allegations that Khatami’s government had financed terrorists, Khatami replied: “Are you sure I gave hundreds of millions in aid to terrorists? I assure you this has not happened and will not happen.”

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