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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Evil-doers for Bush!

This is widely reported, but I took this from an AP story in the Indianapolis Star: "Iran endorses Bush for president."
The head of Iran's security council said Tuesday that the re-election of President Bush was in Tehran's best interests, despite the administration's "axis of evil" label, accusations that Iran harbors al-Qaida terrorists and threats of sanctions for the country's nuclear ambitions.

Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body.

"We haven't seen anything good from Democrats," Rowhani told state-run television in remarks that, for the first time in decades, saw Iran openly supporting one U.S. presidential candidate over another.

Though Iran generally does not publicly wade into U.S. presidential politics, it has a history of preferring Republicans over Democrats, who tend to press human rights issues.

"We do not desire to see Democrats take over," Rowhani said when asked whether Iran was supporting Democratic Sen. John Kerry against Bush.
The Bush administration rejected the endorsement, unsurprisingly, but can you imagine what they'd be saying if Iran had endorsed Kerry?

Rowhani, by the way, is sort of Condi Rice's counterpart in Iran. He has been the key Iranian figure in the ongoing negotiations with the IAEA and Europe about the status of Iran's nuclear program.

And he was hand-picked by the mullah's. This is from a BBC bio:
Analysts believe Ayatollah Khamenei picked Mr Rowhani, rather than a government minister or the reformist president, for the nuclear job because of his closeness to the hardline clergy, which would make him more acceptable to the military.

Born in 1948, Mr Rowhani studied theology in the holy city of Qom. He went on to gain a doctorate in law....He is often described by Western sources as a "moderate" or "pragmatic conservative".
Other than refer to Iran as an "evil" state repeatedly, it is really difficult to note one significant Bush-era US policy toward Iran. It's basically a continuation of Clinton-era policy.

So far as I can tell, the US is outsourcing its "new" "war on terror" Iran policy. From the President, August 2, 2004:
In Iran, we are paying very close attention to Iran. We have ever since I've been in office here. We are working with our friends to keep the pressure on the mullahs to listen to the demands of the free world. And we're working with the -- hold on a second, please. Excuse me. We're working with the IAEA to keep the pressure on Iran, and the Secretary is working very closely with the foreign ministers of France, Great Britain and Germany, who are taking it upon themselves to make it clear that the demands of Europe are also equal to -- the same as the demands of the United States, that we expect there to be full disclosure, full transparency of their nuclear weapons programs.
For more, here's Condi Rice answering a question about Iran in April 2002:
So I think that our view is that the behavior of Iran at this point would suggest that it is a state that while there may be some positive forces within it, those positive forces are not quite yet capable of changing the nature of Iran's behavior; Iran's behavior continues to be a major problem in international politics. And we watch the developments with great interest, but Iranian behavior puts it squarely in the axis of evil -- whether it is weapons of mass destruction or terrorism or any of those things. It's a complicated situation, but I think the behavior speaks for itself.
Indeed, it does.

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