The threats posed by the United States to Iran are far greater than those by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime, Iran's former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Friday.
Addressing Friday prayers in Tehran, Rafsanjani said "we never want the United States to become victorious over Iraq, because the US is more dangerous to us than Iraq. This is our ideological position and our political experience."
Iran is strongly against the ongoing war on Iraq, Rafsanjani, who is also chairman of the State Expediency Council, was quoted assaying by the official IRNA news agency.
He reiterated Iran's stand to remain neutral in the Iraq crisis from the military point of view, saying that Tehran "will not side with any of the conflicting parties."
However, this never means that Iran will be indifferent toward the harm that is inflicted on the Iraqi nation as a result of the US-led war, he said.
Rafsanjani called on the US-British forces not to harm the Shiite Muslim shrines in Iraq's holy cities, warning them of "heavenly revenge."
"The Shiites will never accept any insult to their sanctities and to provoke their sentiments. The Shiites, as history has showed, will humiliate the oppressors."
Echoing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's comment that the war against Iraq would create "100 Bin Ladens," Rafsanjani said the hatred resulted from the US-led invasion of Iraq would encourage the people to become terrorists.
"The result of the US-led war on Iraq will never be a victory...it would merely be the defeat of the Baathist regime, and the occupation of Iraq in real terms will never happen from now on," Rafsanjani said.
"Still, whether the Iraqi regime is removed or not, a very difficult future is awaiting the Americans for they have been got bogged down in a quagmire from which they cannot easily get out."
Rafsanjani said the US-led war in Iraq will be "registered as a big strategic and historical mistake in the dossier of the US Republicans."