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Rice On Relations With Iran

The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government:

Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bush's choice to be Secretary of State for his second term, says that "Iran cannot be a legitimate participant in international politics and pursue a nuclear weapon:" "It is extremely important to the world that Iran not acquire a nuclear weapon. And we are working closely with the European Union on that."

But there are other problems with Iran's clerical regime, says Ms. Rice, besides its determination to acquire a nuclear arsenal: "It is really hard to find common ground with a government that thinks Israel should be extinguished. It is difficult to find common ground with a government that is supporting Hezbollah and terrorist organizations that are determined to undermine the Middle East peace that we seek…Not to mention, by the way, a theocratic government that has a view that the mullahs ought to rule, that has…a human rights record that is really appalling, and that treats its citizens, its women in that way – [that] is not a regime with which I think we have much common ground."

But Ms. Rice emphasized that the United States has no desire to isolate the Iranian people: "This is a people who SHOULD be in contact with the world."

The Iranian people, says Condoleezza Rice, "suffer under a regime that has been completely unwilling to deal with their aspirations." The United States," she says, "must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom.