In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush said that the United States is standing against the forces of extremism in the Middle East. Their violent attempts to deny people the freedom to choose their own destiny are evident in Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories, as well as in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But those forces are also embodied by the regime in Tehran, says Mr. Bush:
"Iran’s rulers oppress a good and talented people. And wherever freedom advances in the Middle East, it seems the Iranian regime is there to oppose it. Iran is funding and training militia groups in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing Hamas’ efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land."
“Tehran is also developing ballistic missiles of increasing range,” said Mr. Bush, “and continues to develop its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear weapon.”
Mr. Bush spoke directly to the Iranian people:
"We have no quarrel with you. We respect your traditions and your history. We look forward to the day when you have your freedom.”
President Bush called on the Iranian government to suspend its uranium enrichment and other proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities, cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, especially in disclosing past nuclear weapons work, and “rejoin the community of nations”:
“Come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home, cease your support for terror abroad.”
“Above all, know this,” said President Bush. “America will confront those who threaten our troops. We will stand by our allies, and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf.”