During his recent trip to the Middle East, President George Bush emphasized the struggle taking place between "terrorist organizations and their state sponsors" on one side, and "every nation committed to freedom and progress in the Middle East" on the other. U.S. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said, "There is now a consensus understanding of what is going on in this region, and that Iran is very much behind that struggle."
Mr. Hadley cited Iran’s support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, for Hamas in the Palestinian territories, for illegal Shia militia in Iraq, "and increasingly," he said, "we see Iran’s hand in the struggle in Afghanistan."
"Iran is a threat to people who want to live in peace," said President Bush. And every nation interested in liberty and progress, he said, should stand with the people of the region against the forces of extremism:
"We must stand with the people of Lebanon in their struggle to build a sovereign and independent democracy. This means opposing Hezbollah terrorists, funded by Iran, who recently revealed their true intentions by taking up arms against the Lebanese people. It is now clearer than ever that Hezbollah militias are the enemy of a free Lebanon – and all nations, especially neighbors in the region, have an interest to help the Lebanese people prevail."
We must stand with the Palestinian people, said Mr. Bush, "who have suffered for decades and earned the right to ... a homeland of their own":
"A democratic Palestine based on law and justice that will live with peace and security alongside a democratic Israel ... And all nations in the region must stand together confronting Hamas, which is attempting to undermine efforts at peace with acts of terror and violence."
Nations interested in freedom and progress must also stand with the "good and decent people of Iran and Syria, who deserve so much better than the life they have today," said President Bush:
"Every peaceful nation in the region has an interest in stopping these nations from supporting terrorism. And every peaceful nation in the region has an interest in opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions."
President Bush said he looks forward to the day when Iran and Syria will be peaceful nations, and when the people of the entire region live in free and independent societies.