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7/8/03 - IRAN'S DANGEROUS COURSE - 2003-07-08

In recent weeks, the people of Iran have risen up by the thousands to call peacefully for freedom and democracy, and to call the world's attention to the destructive policies of the country's radical clerical regime. Among those destructive policies is the Tehran regime's effort to acquire nuclear weapons.

There is no doubt that Iran is working on a nuclear weapons program. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently issued a report severely criticizing Iran for failing to report its processing, use, and storage of nuclear materials. As U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said, the report shows that Iran has been using its know-how to launch a nuclear weapons program. This, she said, is putting Iran on a very dangerous course. "What the I-A-E-A has recently found is, at the very least, disturbing. The international community now should demand answers from Iran, should demand that Iran allow full and complete inspections."

As National Security Adviser Rice said, the danger of an Iran with nuclear weapons is clear. The radical Islamic clerical regime is already the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorist groups. Among those it supports are Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestine Islamic Jihad, groups that are determined to block peace between Israel and the Palestinians and to set up their own extremist Islamic state.

Terrorists delight in mass murder and are trying to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction. The idea of Iran -- a state with close ties to terrorists -- having nuclear weapons is very disturbing. As National Security Adviser Rice said, "When Iran strives to get weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, the international community must take decisive action and make clear that this is unacceptable."