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A Wrong Signal For Iran

Russia's defense minister Sergei Ivanov said that Moscow has delivered TOR-M-1 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey commented on the Russian weapons sales:

"We don't think it's an appropriate signal to be sending to the government of Tehran at this time, particularly when they [Iran] are under U-N sanctions for trying to develop a nuclear weapon and when they continue to be in defiance of U-N Security Council resolutions. We also believe as well that we certainly don't want to see any kind of lethal aid or assistance given to any country that's a state sponsor of terror. And as we've said, Iran is the leading state sponsor [of terrorism] in the world."

U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley says Iran's actions are a matter of concern to many countries:

"There's a broad struggle going on in the Middle East between the forces of freedom and democracy, the forces of terror and tyranny, and Iran is behind a lot of that. They're behind Hezbollah. They're behind Hamas. And the region is looking and watching and asking the question whether the United States is going to stay engaged in that region and be an ally of those countries who want to resist an effort by Iran to basically establish hegemony over in that region."

President George W. Bush recently announced that the United States is sending a second aircraft carrier group to the Persian Gulf, as well as Patriot anti-missile systems. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the moves are "a reaffirmation that the United States has had a strong presence in the Gulf region for a long time. . . .We are simply. . . .reaffirming our determination to be a strong presence in that area for a long time into the future."

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