February 11, 1996 in Nation/World

Anti-Iranian Move Assailed By Farrakhan

Associated Press

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Saturday denounced the U.S. Congress’ decision to allocate $20 million for covert operations in Iran and said that any attempt to destabilize the Islamic republic would fail.

“Instead of allocating a budget to plot conspiracies against the Islamic system in Iran, the United States would do better to use the money to help homeless people in that country,” Farrakhan said.

The provision, approved by Congress in December as part of a $28 billion espionage spending bill, had the support of House Speaker Newt Gingrich. He has suggested the United States seek the overthrow of the fundamentalist Iranian regime.

Farrakhan is in Tehran to attend celebrations Sunday commemorating the 1979 Islamic revolution which, under the guidance of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, overthrew the pro-Western Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Accompanied by several aides, Farrakhan is scheduled to visit the holy city of Qom, south of Tehran, and Mashhad in the northeast.

Farrakhan’s visit to Iran is the third in less than a month to an Arab country at odds with Washington.

On Thursday he visited Sudan, where he declared that Muslim fundamentalist leaders would prevail over the West. He traveled Jan. 24 to Libya, where he met Col. Moammar Gadhafi as part of an African tour.

The U.S. Justice Department later asked him to explain reports that Gadhafi pledged $1 million on Muslim causes in the United States.

Farrakhan said he was warned by the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria not to travel to Sudan, but rejected the warning.

“I always am safe among my brothers,” he was quoted as saying.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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