Sunday, November 13, 2005

Condoleezza Rice: Iran's government divorced from its educated sophisticated people

AP - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave her strongest rebuke yet on Sunday to the renewed hardline Islamic leadership of Iran, saying that "no civilized nation" can call for the annihilation of another.

Rice was referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remark last month that Israel is a "disgraceful blot" that should be "wiped off the map." Her words drew applause from politicians, diplomats and others gathered for a U.S.-Israeli symposium.

"No civilized nation should have a leader who wishes or hopes or desires or considers it a matter of policy to express that ... another country should be pushed into the sea," Rice said, speaking slowly and sternly. "It is unacceptable in the international system."

...Profound shifts are underway in the Middle East, Rice said near the close of a diplomatic trip that began with encouragement for incipient democracy in post-Saddam Iraq and will end Monday with condolences for nearly 60 people killed in a terrorist bombing last week in Jordan.
"We have hope for peace today because people no longer accept that despotism is the eternal political condition of the Middle East," Rice said.

The hard-liner Ahmadinejad was the surprise winner in June elections in Iran, and he immediately set about undoing the reforms and international outreach of the previous moderate-leaning government.

"When we look at a country like Iran we see an educated and sophisticated people who are the bearers of a great civilization," Rice said. "And we also see that as Iran's government has grown more divorced from the will of its citizens it has become more threatening, not less threatening."...

In other news

NY Times - Relying on Computer, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran's Nuclear Aims

In mid-July, senior American intelligence officials called the leaders of the international atomic inspection agency to the top of a skyscraper overlooking the Danube in Vienna and unveiled the contents of what they said was a stolen Iranian laptop computer. The Americans flashed on a screen and spread over a conference table selections from more than a thousand pages of Iranian computer simulations and accounts of experiments, saying they showed a long effort to design a nuclear warhead, according to a half-dozen European and American participants in the meeting.

The documents, the Americans acknowledged from the start, do not prove that Iran has an atomic bomb. They presented them as the strongest evidence yet that, despite Iran's insistence that its nuclear program is peaceful, the country is trying to develop a compact warhead to fit atop its Shahab missile, which can reach Israel and other countries in the Middle East...