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Rice On Iran


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the U.S. "has focused the world's attention" on the Iranian government's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction:

"Along with our allies, we are working to gain full disclosure of Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. The world must not tolerate any Iranian [regime] attempt to develop a nuclear weapon."

The people of the Middle East, says Ms. Rice, are "expressing ideas and taking actions that would have been unthinkable only one year ago." She says this "moment of transformation" is very fragile, and still has committed enemies, particularly the government of Iran, which is the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. But other nations cannot tolerate efforts by Iran's clerical regime to subvert democratic governments.

The Iranian government should pay more attention to the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people. Iran's clerical rulers, says Secretary of State Rice, cannot look away from what is happening in the region:

"The Middle East is changing, and even the unelected leaders in Tehran must recognize this fact. They must know that the energy of reform that is building all around them will one day inspire Iran's citizens to demand their liberty and their rights. The United States stands with the people of Iran."

President George W. Bush has said that advancing the cause of freedom is "the calling of our time." Secretary of State Rice says that with the support of the United States and other nations, the peoples of the Middle East "are demonstrating that all great human achievement begins with free individuals who do not accept that the reality of today must also be the reality of tomorrow."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.

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