Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Iranian Connection IV

President Bush continues to make the case that something must be done about Iran. I predicted war with Iran by 2008. Looks like this are right on track.

Below are the Presiden't comments today, but first read this:

Pace: Iran Complicit in IED Attacks on Coalition
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam, Feb. 14, 2007 – The Iranian government is complicit in improvised-explosive-device attacks on coalition and Iraqi forces, Marine Gen. Peter Pace said today in Jakarta, Indonesia.
However, he said, officials are unsure what level of Iranian government is part of this complicity.

Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is visiting U.S. Pacific Command areas.

As Pace spoke to leaders at the National Institute of Resilience, the Indonesian senior military college, leaders at the institute asked him about proof that Iran is sponsoring IED attacks in Iraq and supporting Shiite terrorist groups.

Officials in Baghdad this week said coalition and Iraqi forces have discovered bomb-making materials that have come from Tehran. These include “explosively formed projectiles” that can be used against heavily armored vehicles, such as Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks.

Coalition forces also have captured Iranians during attacks against two bomb-making cells in Iraq.

"The Iranian government must know that we have discovered their weapons," Pace said. "And they certainly do know -- because they asked for them back -- that we have found Iranian citizens involved in this. What I do not know is if the number one, number two, number three leaders of their government, whether or not they are directing or not directing these actions."

The general said he wanted to be as precise as possible about Iranian involvement. "What I said was that I do not know the level inside the Iranian government that knows about or is complicit in it," he said.

But officials at some level in Iran do know about this. "That activity against our soldiers and Marines in Iraq is unacceptable," he said. "We will keep being aggressive inside Iraq going after these networks."

Pace said earlier in his trip to Australia and Indonesia that there is "zero chance" of the United States going to war with Iran. He said many times to audiences in both Australia and Indonesia that the United States will use diplomatic pressure to get Iran to stop its actions in Iraq and to get Iran to stop research on developing nuclear weapons.

And now for the President's comments
Q Thank you, sir. General Pace says that these bombs found in Iraq do not, by themselves, implicate Iran. What makes you so certain that the highest levels of Tehran's government is responsible?


Q And how can you retaliate against Iran without risking a war?

THE PRESIDENT: What we do know is that the Quds force was instrumental in providing these deadly IEDs to networks inside of Iraq. We know that. And we also know that the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. That's a known. What we don't know is whether or not the head leaders of Iran ordered the Quds force to do what they did.

But here's my point: Either they knew or didn't know, and what matters is, is that they're there. What's worse, that the government knew or that the government didn't know? But the point I made in my initial speech in the White House about Iraq was, is that we know they're there and we're going to protect our troops. When we find the networks that are enabling these weapons to end up in Iraq, we will deal with them. If we find agents who are moving these devices into Iraq, we will deal with them. I have put out the command to our troops -- I mean, to the people who are commanders, that we'll protect the soldiers of the United States and innocent people in Iraq and will continue doing so.

Now, let me step back on Iran, itself. We have a comprehensive strategy to deal with Iraq [sic]. There's a variety of issues that we have with Iraq [sic]. One, of course, is influence inside of Iraq. Another is whether or not they end up with a nuclear weapon. And I believe an Iran with a nuclear weapon would be very dangerous for world peace, and have worked with other nations of like mind. And it turns out there's a lot of countries in the world that agree with that assessment. After all, we did get a Chapter 7 Resolution out of the United Nations that included EU3, as well as Russia and China. That's a positive development.

The message to the Iranian people is that your leaders are making decisions that are isolating you in the world, thereby denying you a brighter future. And I believe Iran is an unbelievably vital nation. It's got a great history, it's got wonderful traditions, it's got very capable, smart people. There is -- I believe there's also a desire to not be isolated from the world. And our policies are all aimed at convincing the Iranian people there's a better way forward, and I hope their government hears that message.

Anyway, that's a long answer to a short question, and now you're trying to get to me to -- Gregory. Excuse me, David. David.

Q Thank you, sir. I'd like to follow on Iran. Critics say that you are using the same quality of intelligence about Iran that you used to make the case for war in Iraq, specifically about WMD that turned out to be wrong, and that you are doing that to make a case for war against Iran. Is that the case?

THE PRESIDENT: I can say with certainty that the Quds force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated IEDs that have harmed our troops. And I'd like to repeat, I do not know whether or not the Quds force was ordered from the top echelons of government. But my point is what's worse -- them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening? And so we will continue to protect our troops.

David, our strategy is comprehensive in order to resolve problems that will affect our own peace and the peace in the world. And the biggest problem I see is the Iranians' desire to have a nuclear weapon. As you know, we've been dealing with this issue ever since you've been covering me, and pretty much ever since I've been the President. And we've made it very clear to the Iranians that if they would like to have a dialogue with the United States, there needs to be a verifiable suspension of their program. I would hope that they would do that. I would like to be at the -- have been given a chance for us to explain that we have no desire to harm the Iranian people.

But my focus is on making sure that this weapon is dealt with, the program is dealt with in a constructive, peaceful way. And we'll continue to work toward achieving our common objective with other nations in the world in a peaceful way.


Q -- using faulty intelligence to provoke Iran?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I heard your question, and I told you, I was confident that the Quds force, a part of the Iranian government, was providing weaponry into Iraq. And to say it is provoking Iran is just a wrong way to characterize the Commander-in-Chief's decision to do what is necessary to protect our soldiers in harm's way. And I will continue to do so.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. I want to follow up on Iran one more time. You saying today that you do not know if senior members of the Iranian government are, in fact, behind these explosives -- that contradicts what U.S. officials said in Baghdad on Sunday. They said the highest levels of the Iranian government were behind this. It also -- it seems to square with what General Pace has been saying, but contradicts with what your own press secretary said yesterday.

THE PRESIDENT: Can I -- let me -- I can't say it more plainly: there are weapons in Iraq that are harming U.S. troops because of the Quds force. And as you know, I hope, that the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. Whether Ahmadinejad ordered the Quds force to do this, I don't think we know. But we do know that they're there, and I intend to do something about it. And I've asked our commanders to do something about it. And we're going to protect our troops.

Q But given some of contradictions, Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT: There's no contradiction that the weapons are there and they were provided by the Quds force, Ed.

Q What assurances can you give the American people that the intelligence this time will be accurate?

THE PRESIDENT: Ed, we know they're there, we know they're provided by the Quds force. We know the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. I don't think we know who picked up the phone and said to the Quds force, go do this, but we know it's a vital part of the Iranian government.

What matters is, is that we're responding. The idea that somehow we're manufacturing the idea that the Iranians are providing IEDs is preposterous, Ed. My job is to protect our troops. And when we find devices that are in that country that are hurting our troops, we're going to do something about it, pure and simple.

Now David says, does this mean you're trying to have a pretext for war? No. It means I'm trying to protect our troops. That's what that means. And that's what the family members of our soldiers expect the Commander-in-Chief and those responsible for -- responsible for our troops on the ground. And we'll continue do so.

1 comment:

Al S. E. said...

President Ahmadinejad's views are summarized on this website: