Iran Focus: London, Jan. 29 United States President George W. Bush on Monday (02:00 GMT Tuesday) touched on the threats posed by Iran in his final State of the Union address before leaving office in January 2009. The following are some of the points he raised: Iran Focus
London, Jan. 29 United States President George W. Bush on Monday (02:00 GMT Tuesday) touched on the threats posed by Iran in his final State of the Union address before leaving office in January 2009.
The following are some of the points he raised:
When we met last year, militia extremists some armed and trained by Iran were wreaking havoc in large areas of Iraq. A year later, coalition and Iraqi forces have killed or captured hundreds of militia fighters. And Iraqis of all backgrounds increasingly realize that defeating these militia fighters is critical to the future of their country.
By contrast, a failed Iraq would embolden extremists, strengthen Iran and give terrorists a base from which to launch new attacks on our friends, our allies and our homeland. The enemy has made its intentions clear. At a time when the momentum seemed to favor them, al-Qaida’s top commander in Iraq declared that they will not rest until they have attacked us here in Washington. My fellow Americans: We will not rest, either. We will not rest until this enemy has been defeated. We must do the difficult work today, so that years from now people will look back and say that this generation rose to the moment, prevailed in a tough fight, and left behind a more hopeful region and a safer America.
We are also standing against the forces of extremism embodied by the regime in Tehran. Iran’s rulers oppress a good and talented people. And wherever freedom advances in the Middle East, it seems the Iranian regime is there to oppose it. Iran is funding and training militia groups in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing Hamas’ efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land. Tehran is also developing ballistic missiles of increasing range and continues to develop its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear weapon. Our message to the people of Iran is clear: We have no quarrel with you, we respect your traditions and your history, and we look forward to the day when you have your freedom. Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear: Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment, so negotiations can begin. And to rejoin the community of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home and cease your support for terror abroad. But above all, know this: America will confront those who threaten our troops, we will stand by our allies and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf.