Parliament Speaker Larijani Rejects BBC Report on Imam Khomeini

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani heaped scorn on the BBC for its recent baseless report on correspondence between Imam Khomeini and former US president Jimmy Carter, slamming the story as a crafty move to legitimize normal relations between Iran and the US.

Speaking at an open session of Parliament on Tuesday, Larijani said the false story by the BBC was an attempt to throw doubt on the authenticity of Imam Khomeini’s struggle against the US.

Those behind this untrue report were seeking to shock the public opinion, legitimize establishing ties between Tehran and Washington and create an impression that contacts with the US have been in place, even in the most critical conditions, he added.

In a report released on June 3, the BBC asserted that late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini secretly sent a letter to Carter in January 1979, seeking his “assistance in overcoming opposition from Iran’s military, still loyal to the Shah.”

BBC further claimed, “(Ayatollah) Khomeini promised that if he could return to Iran from exile in France, which the United States could facilitate, he would prevent a civil war, and (the post-revolution government) would not be hostile to Washington.”

The BBC also said that Ibrahim Yazdi, who became the first Iranian Foreign Minister after the Islamic Revolution, was named as one of Ayatollah Khomeini’s contact persons.

However, Yazdi rejected the report, saying the one who first sent a message was President Carter, not Ayatollah Khomeini. Secondly, he said, the exchange of these messages for the first time was done by Gary Sick, as asserted in his book “All Fall Down”.

On June 4, former US National Security Council adviser, Gary Sick, released a piece on his personal blog about the authenticity of the report.

“Apart from selective quotations, there are some factual errors in the BBC report,” Sick wrote.