U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns says the government of Iran is pursuing radical policies that are leading that country into further international isolation:
"Iran is pursuing a radical course through its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, its notoriety as the world’s leading supporter of terrorist groups, and its deplorable treatment of its own people. In each of these areas, Iran holds a position inimical to the rest of the world and is moving backward against the tide of international opinion."
Iran claims its nuclear program is designed to provide power for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. and many other countries suspect Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons. The world's patience over Iran's nuclear ambitions, said Under Secretary of State Burns, is running out:
"The U.S. and the world community are acutely concerned, first and foremost, by Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. Increasingly on that issue, Iran stands isolated from the rest of the world. There is no real international debate about Iran's nuclear intentions among the major countries of the world."
Iran’s domestic human rights record, said Under Secretary of State Burns, remains abysmal. "The government continues to commit serious abuses, including executions, disappearances, torture and other inhumane treatment." And Iran, said Mr. Burns, "remains the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism" and "has retained close links to the most notorious terrorist groups in the Middle East." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has even said that Israel should be "wiped off the map" and he called for more terrorist attacks against Israel. Those words, said Mr. Burns, have provoked international condemnation:
"For a world leader to call for the destruction of a nation-state and member of the United Nations is outrageous and intolerable. Through his statements and actions, President Ahmadinejad is digging a hole for himself and he appears determined to keep on digging."
As President George W. Bush has said, "those who despise freedom and progress have condemned themselves to isolation and decline and collapse." It is up to the government of Iran to change its repressive, provocative, and dangerous behavior.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.