Iran Focus: Washington, DC, Apr. 10 United States President George W. Bush warned Iran on Thursday that it had a choice of either living in peace with Iraq or witnessing American action to defend its interests in the war-torn country. Iran Focus
Washington, DC, Apr. 10 United States President George W. Bush warned Iran on Thursday that it had a choice of either living in peace with Iraq or witnessing American action to defend its interests in the war-torn country.
The regime in Tehran also has a choice to make: They can live in peace with its neighbour, enjoy strong economic and cultural and religious ties, or it can continue to arm and train and fund illegal militant groups which are terrorising the Iraqi people and turning them against Iran, Bush said in a speech in which he also announced his approval of the recommendation of General David Petraeus, commander of Coalition forces in Iraq, to halt the drawdown of U.S. troops.
If Iran makes the right choice, America will encourage a peaceful relationship between Iran and Iraq. If Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests and our troops and our Iraqi partners, he said at the White House.
Serious and complex challenges remain in Iraq, from the presence of al-Qaida to the destructive influence of Iran to hard compromises needed for further political progress, he said.
Bush said that recent security operations in the southern Iraqi city of Basra by the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki make clear a free Iraq will no longer tolerate the lawlessness by Iranian-backed militants.
Iraq is the convergence point for two of the greatest threats to America in this new century: al-Qaida and Iran, Bush said.
If we fail there, al-Qaida would claim a propaganda victory of colossal proportions and they could gain safe havens in Iraq from which to attack the United States, our friends and our allies.
Iran would work to fill the vacuum in Iraq. And our failure would embolden its radical leaders and fuel their ambitions to dominate the region, he said.
On the other hand, if we succeed in Iraq, after all that al-Qaida and Iran have invested there, it’d be a historic blow to the global terrorist movement and a severe setback for Iran, he said, adding, It would demonstrate to a watching world that mainstream Arabs reject the ideology of al-Qaida and mainstream Shia reject the ideology of Iran’s radical regime.