He praised Hizballah, certainly, but even worse, his “reformist” regime was oppressive and brutal. “Fury as St Andrews honours Hezbollah backer,” from the TimesOnline, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
STUDENT leaders are organising a mass protest over St Andrews University”s decision to award an honorary degree to a former Iranian president who praised Hezbollah.
Muhammad Khatami is to be made an honorary doctor of laws by Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader who is also the university”s chancellor.
Khatami will open the university”s Institute for Iranian Studies, which will house 12,000 books donated by Sadegh Kharazi, Iran’s former ambassador to France. The collection of Iranian texts, the largest of its kind in Europe, is estimated to be worth more than Â£100,000.
The decision to confer the honour on Khatami has provoked criticism from human rights groups who claim thousands of Iranian citizens were jailed and tortured for their political beliefs during his eight-year term that ended last year with the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad….
The Board of Deputies of British Jews and Lord Janner, its past president, have criticised Campbell for agreeing to meet Khatami, who likened Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group, to a “shining sun which warms up all oppressed Muslims”.
Although Khatami has a reputation as a reformer, observers say he maintains close links with Ahmadinejad’s hardline regime. “It’s clear Khatami is being used as a tool of diplomacy which is designed to capitalise on his reputation as a reformist president,” said Mark Thomas of the Royal United Services Institute.
Iranian exiles are drawing up a petition demanding St Andrews withdraw the invitation. “Thousands of people are seething about this,” said Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, a New York-based Iranian organising the petition. “How can a man who imprisoned and oppressed thousands of students in Iran be given a degree by an academic institution?” Ali Ansari, director of the Institute for Iranian Studies, insisted last week that the decision to honour Khatami was in recognition of his efforts to encourage closer relations between Christians, Jews and Muslims….
Closer relations? The better to eat you with, my dear.