U.S. Applauds PLO Rejection of Iranian Call for Murder

The State Department on Monday welcomed Yasir Arafat’s condemnation of an Iranian official’s call last week to kill five Americans or other Westerners for every Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers.

The Palestine Liberation Organization leader was quoted Sunday in Tunis as saying that he totally rejects statements made Friday by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

A PLO spokesperson also was quoted Sunday as saying that the organization had rejected “this poisoned advice to the Palestinian people to commit international terrorism against innocent people.”

“We welcome the statements” by Arafat and his spokespersons critical of Rafsanjani. State Department deputy spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday. “They accord with the PLO’s renunciation of terrorism and our understanding that it would denounce terrorism wherever it occurred.”

“We call on all members of the international community to denounce Rafsanjani’s statements and to take action to isolate Iran until it is ready to act responsibly.” Boucher added.

On Friday, the State Department warned that the United States would hold the Iranian leadership responsible if anyone responds to Rafsanjani’s call.

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