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Cheney On Iran

The International Atomic Energy Agency met in Vienna, Austria, to discuss Iran's nuclear program. Iran has announced its intention to produce enriched uranium, which can be used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

Vice-President Dick Cheney says that Iran's government is defying the world "with its nuclear ambitions":

"The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose meaningful consequences. For our part, the United States is keeping all options on the table in addressing the irresponsible conduct of the regime. And we join other nations in sending that regime a clear message: we will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

At the same time, says Mr. Cheney, the U.S. supports "the democratic aspirations of the people of Iran":

"Iranians have endured a generation of repression at the hands of a fanatical regime. That regime is one of the world's primary state sponsors of terror. The current president [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] has spoken openly of wiping Israel off the map, and of a world without America. He's made despicable statements doubting the crimes of the Nazis, aligning himself with the rest of the fantasy world Holocaust deniers."

Mr. Cheney says, "The people of Iran can be absolutely certain that we respect them":

"And we stand with them. Iranians desire and deserve to be free from tyranny and oppression in their own homeland."

"Freedom in the Middle East requires freedom for the Iranian people," says Vice-President Dick Cheney. He says, the U.S. "looks forward to the day when our nation can be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran."

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