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Iranian President Criticizes Past 16 Years of Detente with West


The Iranian news agency says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told lawmakers that 16 years of détente with the West has achieved little and has reduced Iran's stature in the Islamic world.

The news agency quotes lawmaker Kazem Jalali as saying the hard-line president's remarks came Tuesday, in a closed-door meeting with parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Committee.

Pragmatic conservative Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was Iran's president from 1989 to 1997. He was succeeded by pro-reformist Mohammad Khatami, who was defeated in June.

According to witnesses, Mr. Ahmadinejad said that the foreign policy adopted by his predecessors distanced Iran from the goals of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Mr. Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005 on a platform of restoring revolutionary values. His performance has come under harsh foreign criticism for repeated remarks disparaging Israel and Western governments. Critics have also accused him of leading Iran toward international isolation.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.

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