In testimony before the U.S. Congress, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says in 2006 "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran, whose policies are directed at developing a Middle East that would be one-hundred-eighty degrees different than the Middle East that we would like to see":
"The challenge of Iran has become more acute as it has become clear that while the international community is becoming ever more unified around the proposition that Iran must not be allowed to get a nuclear weapon, the Iranians have become ever more defiant. I think that that has to spotlight not just on Iran's nuclear program, but also on Iran's support for terrorism, the kind of central banker of terrorism in the Middle East. Iran's activities in southern Iraq, Iran's activities in Lebanon."
Iran "is a destabilizing presence throughout the region," says Ms. Rice. And, she says, "The United States must be resolved to challenge Iran in these policies":
"As a part of that effort, we of course are working with the international community to bring Iran's case to the [United Natio0ns] Security Council in terms of its nuclear policy but also to reach out to the Iranian people because we want to be very clear that our problem is with the Iranian regime, not the Iranian people."
Iran, says Secretary of State Rice, "is a country in which an unelected few are frustrating the desires and wishes of the Iranian people for democracy." It is important, she says, "that the Iranian government recognizes that it will be isolated if it continues down this path, [and] that we [will] not isolate the Iranian people.'
The U.S., says Ms. Rice, wants "the Iranian people to be free. Our problem is with the Iranian regime."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.