How the hell does this headline get past the editor?May 9 2006 at 3:02 PM
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Am I going nuts, or do we see any Western "experts" quoted in this article? Bush needs to get his sh*t together, and start addressing the American public more directly...like a "fireside chat". Have we forgotten that we're in a War, and that it isn't just limited to Iraq? Will the Bush Administration continue to allow the worldwide media to go unchallenged in their portrayal of this War as American arrogance and stupidity? Somebody throw this administration a rope! We need some real LEADERSHIP. NOW.
Experts: U.S. Hasty in Brushoff of Iran
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
May 09, 2006 1:42 PM EDT
TEHRAN, Iran - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's abrupt dismissal of a letter from Iran's president might only strengthen hardline attitudes and mistrust of America, some Iranians warned Tuesday.
As President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began a high-profile visit to a key Muslim country, Indonesia, a former top Iranian official said Rice's response will give new justification to those who oppose ties with the U.S.
Iran's former ambassador to France, Sadeq Kharrazi, said the letter - the first from an Iranian head of state to an American president in 27 years - "could have been a turning point in relations." But he said Rice squandered the opportunity with what he called a "hasty reaction."
"This gives a pretext to those in Iran who oppose re-establishment of ties with America," he said.
Ahmadinejad's 18-page letter to President Bush touched only indirectly on the hottest dispute between the two countries - Iran's nuclear program. Instead, it focuses on a long list of grievances against the United States and seeks to build on a shared faith in God to resolve them.
Rice told The Associated Press the letter "isn't addressing the issues that we're dealing with in a concrete way."
Iranian political analyst Saeed Leilaz said Rice's quick brushoff would fuel anti-American feelings in Iran.
"It could have been the beginning of a new process," he said. Rice's response "strengthens the suspicion (inside Iran) that the U.S. is thinking of a military option only and not a political solution" to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, he said.
As he boarded a plane for Indonesia on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said his letter contained "the demands of Iranian people and our nation."
"I discussed our views, beliefs and positions regarding international issues as well as some ways out of problems humanity is suffering from," he told the official Islamic Republic News Agency. "We will wait for reaction ... and then we'll make decisions."
In Indonesia - the world's most populous Muslim nation, which has friendly ties with the U.S. and European countries - Ahmadinejad was due to discuss the nuclear issue with the country's president, then attend a summit of developing nations.
"We want Iran to be more transparent in its program," Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda told reporters Tuesday.
The United States accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies, saying it aims only to generate energy.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said the letter was not intended to address the nuclear issue. "We have sufficient logic and legal reasoning (to defend our program)," Asefi was quoted by the radio as saying.
"Our aim was to express our opinions about global problems and the way out of these problems," he said.
Reaction to the letter was mixed in Iran and across the Mideast.
Iranian newspapers described the message as "an initiative in global diplomacy" and "dialogue under the shadow of war."
But conservative lawmaker Hashmatollah Falahatpisheh lambasted Ahmadinejad for failing to consult parliament before sending the letter to the country Iran considers its greatest enemy.
"This message is the outcome of a series of taboo-breaking behaviors in Iran's foreign policy. ... That the parliament is not aware of (the contents of the) letter is questionable," Falahatpisheh told an open session of the parliament broadcast live on state-run radio Tuesday.
Among Gulf nations, the letter fueled suspicions toward Iran.
The Saudi-owned daily Asharq Al-Awsat called the letter proof that "Iran is not enriching uranium for peaceful purposes as it says, and is striving for leadership and control of the region."
Such Iranian leadership would mean the Israeli-Palestinian peace process "would be stalled, the Iraqi dream (of democracy) would be thwarted and we would witness a new wave of armament," wrote Tariq Alhomayed, the paper's editor-in-chief.
The Kuwaiti newspaper Arab Times ran an editorial in which editor-in-chief Ahmed Al-Jarallah accused Ahmadinejad of acting "as if he owns the region."
Some of Iran's Arab neighbors have expressed fears over Iran's nuclear program - particularly over pollution in case of an accident - as well as over the standoff with the West, fearing possible Iranian retaliation against American military bases in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain should the U.S. launch a pre-emptive strike.
But an editorial in Lebanon's The Daily Star newspaper called the letter "a cause for hope that a peaceful solution" to the nuclear standoff and called on Washington to initiate direct talks with Tehran.
|This message has been edited by lehtinen-26 from IP address 18.104.22.168 on May 9, 2006 3:06 PM|