“It would be immoral for me to abandon Libya after it had helped the African National Congress to fight apartheid, which had been one of the most brutal systems in the world.”
President Nelson Mandela of South Africa – 22 October 1997
Yesterday, the Iranian government released a 45 rial postage stamp illustrating the downing of Iran Flight 665 by the USS Vincennes on July 3rd.
The ship shooting the missile is painted with the colors of the American flag while the map of Iran is burning on the background.
The War Goes On
Despite promises made last week to halt hostilities, Iran is continuing the war according to Iraqi officials.
Iraq’s United Nations mission representative said Iranian forces fired howitzer shells, mortar shells and small missiles at Iraqi forces in the area around Basra and the Fao Peninsula. The statement added that the III Army Corps area located near the port of Basra was hit by 214 howitzer shells, 205 mortar shells and 32 small missiles.
Tehran officials have not denied the accusations. Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati of Iran had said that his country’s forces would cease all military activity immediately.
Today, Nelson Mandela is beginning treatment for tuberculosis. In February 1985 President P.W. Botha offered Mandela conditional release. But Mandela spurned the offer and declared that he would be the last political prisoner to leave the jail. From then on, it was very clear who was holding the key of his cell. On February 2 1990, President F.W. de Klerk reversed the ban on the ANC. Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison on 11 February 1990.
In response to U.S. criticism of his 22 October 1997 state visit to Libya, Mandela defended Libya’s call for an international tribunal on the Lockerbie crash suspects which both the US and the UK were categorically rejecting at the time. Mandela added that he supported the calls by the Organization of African Unity for a neutral trial for the alleged bombers.
Mandela stated that he believed that justice could not be done to the suspects in Britain or the United States. He said that it is wrong for any country to be complainant, prosecutor, and judge.
The Americans Hostages
Today, the Most Rev. Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, conferred with a senior Iranian official on the fate of British hostages held in Lebanon. The Archbishop declined to discuss what had been said. ”Progress can only be made quietly,” he said.
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