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Iran Islamist Leader 'Disgusts' US Over Sharon

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:23 pm    Post subject: Iran Islamist Leader 'Disgusts' US Over Sharon Reply with quote

Iran Islamist Leader 'Disgusts' US Over Sharon

January 05, 2006
The Daily Telegraph
Correspondents in Washington


The US this morning blasted as "hateful and disgusting" remarks by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hoping that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon does not survive his massive stroke. "This is a man who wraps himself in the cloak of a peaceful religion, Islam, and yet you hear remarks like this coming from him," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

The ISNA student news agency in Tehran quoted Mr Ahmadinejad as wishing Mr Sharon dead after the Israeli leader suffered a severe brain haemorrhage yesterday. Mr Sharon, 77, is fighting for his life in a Jerusalem hospital.

"I can only say that those remarks are hateful and disgusting. And I think that it is, again, a window into the true nature of this particular Iranian Government," Mr McCormack said.

Mr Ahmadinejad has already drawn world condemnation for calling for Israel to be wiped off the map and for branding the Holocaust, in which six million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis, a myth.

Mr McCormack said the latest comments on Mr Sharon were more of the same.

"I think this is part of a continuing stream of hateful invective that has come from this president."

The US has pressed complaints against Iran on several other fronts, including Tehran's suspected nuclear arms program and its support for Palestinian militants and Iraqi insurgents.

Last edited by cyrus on Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Cyrus,

This is one of those times that transcripts come in very handy. There was so much more said that I'm obligated to "share the wealth", as it's said.

Daily Press Briefing
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 5, 2006


QUESTION: Iran's President says he hopes that Sharon doesn't survive. Do you
have a reaction to that?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I saw those remarks and this is a man who wraps himself in
the cloak of a peaceful religion, Islam, and yet you hear remarks like this
coming from him. I can only say that those remarks are hateful and disgusting.
And I think that it is again a window into the true nature of this particular
Iranian Government. I don't -- I certainly don't say those things, meaning to
try to implicate the Iranian people. I think that they are suffering as much as
anybody else from this particular regime. They have -- this regime has isolated
the Iranian people from the rest of the world in a matter of months, through
its actions and its statements. And this most recent statement, which is
hateful and disgusting is sadly not surprising, given what we have seen come
out of this -- come out from this President before, talking about wiping Israel
off the map. So I think this is part of a continuing stream of hateful
invective that has come from this President.


QUESTION: Sean, yesterday the President met with various members of both
political parties, former Secretaries of State mostly talking about the Iraq
situation, but also does the President, as well as the Secretary of State have
any inklings of putting her former colleagues to work settling both situations,
both Iraq, as well as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, in terms of the meeting, I think the White House is best
positioned to talk about that. I have seen some of the former Secretaries out
on cable television talking about the briefing. I think the President described
the intent behind inviting the former Secretaries to the White House for the
briefing. These are people with whom we are in contact certainly on a regular
basis, perhaps in a more informal way. But Secretary Rice, I can assure you, is
somebody who does reach out on a regular basis to her former colleagues, her
predecessors as well to talk about the situation in the world, the variety of
issues that she faces and the challenges that are before her and she values the
opinions and perspectives of those distinguished predecessors.

QUESTION: Following that meeting, former Secretary of State Eagleburger said he
doesn't -- just doesn't see how it's possible that Sharon returns to the
political stage, even if he survives. Do you now consider the Sharon era over?

MR. MCCORMACK: I am -- again, I'm going to refer back to what I have said, what
the Secretary has said on this matter.

Yes, sir.


MR. MCCORMACK: Sure. Mm-hmm .

QUESTION: Please correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't seen the remarks of --
today's remarks of Secretary Rice in its original form. I was here for the
special press briefing. I apologize for that. My understanding is that she
basically said two things, that: (a) there is a real possibility of Iran
referral to the UN Security Council and there is already a project of the
resolution and the United States have votes to support such resolution. I was
wondering if that means that you have persuaded Russia and China to support you
on that?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, first of all, you know, rather than trying to summarize
her remarks, I'd refer you to the transcript. We're going to have it out soon.
I leave it to your colleagues to describe to you whether or not they feel as
though she said anything that she has not said before. I didn't detect any
deviation from what she has said before.

But very basically, we have said in the past and she has said in the past that
we think we have -- we know we have the votes to refer Iran to the Security
Council for noncompliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty. We have chosen at
this point not to pursue that particular avenue because we have been supportive
of the EU-3 diplomatic process, the Russian initiative with the Iranians as
well. We wanted to give that every opportunity to play out; that it still is in
play right now, although I would note that the Iranians -- the Iranian
representatives were "no shows" for a meeting at the IAEA that was previously
scheduled to discuss these issues related to their covert nuclear weapons
program. So, you know, again, I think that is indicative of their attitude
towards the willingness of the international community, including the EU-3, the
Russians and the IAEA to engage them on these issues. Yet, it's met with
silence, it's meet with obfuscation, it's met with not showing up for meetings.

So the Secretary made it very clear that while, at this point, we have not
moved to have Iran referred to the Security Council for NPT violations, we
reserve the right to do so at the time of our choosing and we have the votes to
do it. So we'll see what Iran does, whether or not it chooses to engage in a
constructive manner in the diplomatic hands that have been extended to them.


QUESTION: Do you have the votes to do it on the understanding that Russia and
China will abstain at the IAEA or they'll vote in favor of referral?

MR. MCCORMACK: At this point, I would leave it to them -- leave it to each
particular country to describe where they may or may not be on a theoretical
vote. I would note in the finding of the Board of Governors this past October,
Russia and China did abstain and that Iran found itself isolated with Venezuela
in the only two states voting against that Board of Governors' resolution.
India voted for finding them in noncompliance and the overall vote had the
effect of finding them in noncompliance. So we'll see, moving forward, whether
or not there are other -- any potential referral to the Security Council and at
this point, I would say that that is -- that's hypothetical because we have not
chosen to pursue that in the Board of Governors as Secretary Rice has said, but
we reserve the option at the time of our choosing to do so.

QUESTION: Would you also back the votes at the Security Council for the council
to take action -- sanctions or whatever it might be?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, there are a variety of different ways that the Security
Council can act. I think at this point, it's premature to try to describe or
prejudge in what way they may act, but I think that certainly, if it is -- if
the Iranians are referred to the Security Council, that the Security Council
would be prepared to take some action. I'm not going to prejudge what that
action may or may not be.

QUESTION: And you're confident then that you would have the votes for them to
do something?

MR. MCCORMACK: I think that in some form, of course, if it were referred to the
Security Council, that there would -- that the Security Council would address
the issue in some form, some diplomatic way.

QUESTION: Can I have a follow-up?


QUESTION: I believe, Secretary Rice's exact words were, "There is a resolution
sitting at the UN Security Council." I was just wondering if you can clarify
who's the author of this resolution?

MR. MCCORMACK: I'll go back into -- I have to go back and check the exact
context of her remarks. I don't think that the -- I don't think that there has
been any circulation of a resolution in the Security Council. There is -- there
was, in fact, a finding of noncompliance and perhaps you call it a resolution
in the IAEA Board of Governors that is ready to be voted on and sent forward to
the Security Council. But I'll have to go back and check the exact context of
her remarks.


QUESTION: What's the criteria for your choice to ask for a vote at the IAEA?

MR. MCCORMACK: Referring them to the Security Council?


MR. MCCORMACK: That is a judgment I think that we would take in consultation
with our fellow members of the Board of Governors and in particular, in close
consultation with our allies that make up the EU-3. One, of course, one
important consideration I would say -- one consideration in that would, of
course, be the judgment of the main interlocutors with the Iranians on this
particular issue with the EU-3 and certainly, we would want to talk to the
Russians as well on this issue and get their judgment on where we stood with
respect to the diplomatic process and what prospects there were for pursuing
this particular diplomatic avenue and whether or not it would yield the results
that everybody is looking for. And the Secretary described what -- those
results we're looking for.

QUESTION: So if this thing is not actually -- the criteria doesn't depend on
Iran's behavior as far as you're concerned because you've pretty much dismissed
the behavior as bad, needs to go to the Security Council -- it's a case of
where the votes are.

MR. MCCORMACK: No, I think it's very much an issue of Iran's behavior. They, to
this point, have failed to engage in a serious manner in the diplomatic process
and to engage with the EU-3 and the Russians in a serious manner on some very
important proposals. Proposals that we believe allow the Iranians to, in their
view, exercise their desire to have a civilian nuclear program while reassuring
the world and the international community that they are not going to try to use
that civilian nuclear program to develop a nuclear weapon under the cover of a
civilian nuclear program.

To date, as the IAEA has reported, they have sought to undermine and circumvent
their obligations under the NPT. So, it's Iranian actions that have gotten them
to this point and their willingness to engage in a diplomatic solution to the
current to the place where we find ourselves right now has not been evident,
but it is entirely within their power to engage with the EU-3, the IAEA and the
Russian Government.

----------end excerpt---------

Remarks at the State Department Correspondents Association's Inaugural
Newsmaker Breakfast

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Fairmont Hotel
Washington, DC
January 5, 2006

(excerpt of remarks)

Let me just move a little further to the southwest and talk about Iran, where,
obviously, we are moving into a period of time with Iran where I think we're
going to have to -- the world is going to have to make some decisions about
whether or not it is possible to get a commitment from Iran to a civil nuclear
structure that does not give them the technology for nuclear weapons. There, so
far, has been no demonstration that the Iranians are willing to recognize the
world's just concerns about the fuel cycle and its location in Iran.

There have been all kinds of attempts. Those attempts continue, but I would
just remind that we have always said that if we're not able to get satisfaction
somehow through a negotiated route, then diplomacy will continue, but in a
different form, which is that we would expect there to be referral to the
Security Council. And I think we want not to lose sight also with Iran of other
activities that are troubling, not only Iran's internal development, which
continues to go in a retrograde direction, but also Iran's continuing support
for terrorism, which is of very great concern as we try and tackle the problems
of the Middle East and as we try and deliver on the promise that is there with
the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon and democratization in Lebanon, and of
course, as we continue to pursue, after the elections in the Palestinian
territories, the peace process.

--------end excerpt------

(relevent Q&A)

QUESTION: On Iran, Madame Secretary, you made a few comments and I don't -- you
don't need to go over those exactly, but I'd like push it a little further, if
I could. It sounds from your comments, the comments of other officials, that
it's a lot of barking and there's not much biting. There's a lot of talk about
going to the Security Council, but you've been saying the same thing for a year
now. Do you want to draw any sharper line about how long this will go on? How
much of a role are the Russians playing? Do you have to wait for them before
you can take it to the Security Council?

SECRETARY RICE: I don't think there's any doubt that we will want to
demonstrate that we've given diplomacy a chance. And. sometimes it takes a
little time to give diplomacy a chance. The Russians had a proposal that they
wanted to make to the Iranians. We've supported their making that proposal to
the Iranians. But let me just, if you don't mind, Charlie, quarrel a little bit
with the characterization of the last year.

Let me remind especially those of you who went with me to Europe on my first
trip, and I will tell you that I was expecting a thousand questions about Iraq
and I got two about Iraq and a thousand questions about Iran. And the position
that we were in at that point was that the United States had somehow gotten in
a position where the Europeans were between or considered themselves to be
between Iran and the United States, trying to mediate between Iran and the
United States. It was not a very good place to be.

And so the first goal was to get a unified position between the United States
and our key allies on Iran. And if you remember, that had to do with both
giving the diplomacy a chance and also being prepared to support the diplomacy
with a couple of relatively minor moves like allowing or -- withdrawing our
objection to an Iranian application to the WTO. We've lived up to our part of
the bargain. The Europeans and we could not be in closer coordination nor in
greater concert about where we are in this position.

The next steps have been to, in effect, bring others into that consensus:
Russia, India, China. And the Russian -- what the Russians are doing, I think
demonstrates again that the Iranians presented even with another possibility, a
joint technology venture where they don't have the fuel cycle but they have
access not to the technology but access to a joint venture for fuel supply, but
they've also not been willing to take that.

So what I think you are seeing is that you're seeing the consistent and sort of
seriatim isolation now of Iran to the point that when we had the vote last
November, I think the Iranians were really quite shocked that they were out
there with Venezuela on their side and nobody else. That's a much better
position to be in than we were a little more -- a little less than a year ago.
And I think we'll continue on that course. But I don't have any doubt that at
the right time, a time of our choosing, we're going to go to the Security
Council if the Iranians are not prepared to do what they say they want to do,
which is to pursue peaceful nuclear energy.

MR. MACKLER: Follow-up on Iran?

QUESTION: I just had two things. One, I'm struck in your opening comments on
Iran, you said that it's -- we're coming to the point where it's time for
diplomacy to take a different form. Do you get a sense that the EU-3 process
has basically ended? Has that pretty much run its course?

And secondly, specifically on the latest threat from the Iranians to renew this
research on the enrichment in, what, four days, what's your reaction going to
be if they follow through on that threat? Are you going to call for emergency
meeting of the IAEA?

SECRETARY RICE: John, this kind of makes the point that I was making about the
now concert that we have with the Europeans. We didn't even have to say
anything. It was the French and the Germans who were out telling the Iranians
don't do it because that would be a serious problem for any further
negotiation. And you know, I think I assume private messages are perhaps even
more direct. And so I think that you are getting -- when the Iranians make
these threats, they end up isolating themselves, not frightening people into
playing by their rules.

And so I think we are exactly where the rest of -- where everybody is on this.
They shouldn't do it because it really will be a sign that they're not prepared
-- we've been prepared to let the diplomacy work, but they're not prepared to
actually make the diplomacy work.

In terms of the next phase, you know, all that I'm referring to is that we've
always said that when it's clear that negotiation has been exhausted, that
we'll -- we have the votes, there is a resolution sitting there about the
Security Council (inaudible). We obviously would like to bring as many people
to that assessment as possible.

And so as you know, I will not give you a timeline on when that's going to
happen, but I do think that the Iranians are digging their own hole of
isolation deeper and deeper. It is dug even deeper by the fact that their
President seems to keep reminding people of why Iran could never be trusted
with nuclear technology. I think it was the Russian Foreign Minister who, when
Ahmadi-Nejad blasted forth with his first thing about Israel should be wiped
off the map, who said that the Iranians had just given those who wish to go to
the Security Council another reason for doing so. So we don't have the problem;
the Iranians have the problem. And we'll see whether they have a way to get out
of it or whether we go to the Security Council

MR. MACKLER: Follow-up on Iran?

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, doesn't isolation make them more dangerous or
doesn't isolation make North Korea more dangerous, or do you think Bush
Administration policy adequately reflects the danger of forcing them -- forcing
the two of them on the nuclear issue to the wall? Is there another way to go
about this?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, the way, Barry, is for them to give up these nuclear
ambitions. Look, the North Koreans do not have to be isolated. There is a --
it's a North Korean choice to be isolated, not American policy to isolate them.
There is a six-party Statement of Principles that makes very clear that when
the North Koreans are prepared to give up their nuclear ambitions, that the
United States, as well as the other parties, are prepared to engage them and
engage them in a major way. So if they choose isolation, I don't think it is a
result of American policy; it's a result of choices that the North Koreans

Now again, in terms of danger, of course, you know, they're a dangerous regime.
But we should also not misinterpret the security situation on the Korean
Peninsula. There is a significant deterrent to North Korean activity there.
Their illegal activities have drawn sanctions from us because the President's
not going to let North Korea counterfeit American money without action. And I
would just note to you that there hadn't been much uproar from anybody else
about the fact that we are engaged in trying to constrain those illicit

In terms of Iran, again, the Iranians are digging their own isolation. The
United States, mid -- you know, March or so of last year said let's give the
diplomacy a chance to work. Let's actually even put some things on the table so
that our European allies have greater chips to play in the negotiation. The
Iranians haven't taken the deal. So I don't know what other course you have
when you have states that will not take the opportunity to end isolation, but I
think the North Koreans, in particular, there is every opportunity for a
different kind of relationship with the rest of the world.

Now, that doesn't speak to, you know -- we have no illusions about the nature
of the North Korean regime. We have no illusions about what is happening to the
North Korean people and about the need to speak out on those issues. But if the
North Korean regime would be prepared for greater openness, for greater
engagement and to denuclearize, I think you would see a totally different

MR. MACKLER: Andrea,I think you wanted to follow up.

QUESTION: If I can just follow on Iran, for a moment. Do you or does the
President believe that the time for diplomacy has been exhausted with Iran? And
if not, what are the indicators that that time has arrived? Otherwise, as
Charlie pointed out, there's been an awful lot of saber rattling on the part of
the United States over the last year and we've seen Iran do nothing but walk
away from, for instance, the Paris agreement and you've had a hard-line
President that's just been elected.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, again, I think the point, Andrea, is that the last
several months, the last nine months or so, has been used to build a consensus
about the Iranian problem. Now, it's very interesting, I remember all the
stories that everybody wrote about American unilateralism -- let's just go out
and do it. This is a case in which we've carefully built a consensus about the
Iranians. The European-American consensus is very strong. Others are coming to
that consensus. That puts you in a very much stronger position when you
actually do decide to go to the Security Council. That's not saber rattling.
That's diplomacy.

Now, it's not a matter of diplomacy ending. It could be a matter of the
negotiations this -- you know, diplomacy also includes what you do in the
Security Council. So I think that what you're seeing is that people want the
Iranians to decide whether or not they're prepared to live with a civil nuclear
structure that does not raise proliferation risks or not. And when it is
clearer, as it is becoming clearer, that they are not prepared to do that, I
think you will have a very strong consensus behind a different course of

QUESTION: The first part of the question, was that a yes or a no?

SECRETARY RICE: Andrea, it's not a simple yes or no question. I hope that the
diplomacy has not been exhausted, that negotiation has not been exhausted. I
hope that the Iranians show up at the next meeting and say, all right, we
understand that we can't have the entire fuel cycle, we understand that
enrichment and reprocessing has got to be either offshore or we have to have
assured fuel supply. I could write the script and I continue to hope that that
will be the case.

I think what is very important for us is on the point of isolation that Barry
made. This is not about the Iranian people. Nobody wants to isolate the Iranian
people. If there were ways to better engage and reach out to the Iranian
people, I would love to see them. You know, soccer matches and musicians and
university students and all those things, because this is a great civilization
and these are a great people. They happen to have a leadership that seems, at
this point, to have chosen confrontation rather than cooperation with the
international system. And so it's extremely important that we send the message
that this is not intended to isolate the Iranian people.


Cyrus, I recall you've expressed at times some frustration that there was a certain lack you noted that statements would not always differentiate between the Iranian government and the Iranian people.
Well here you have proof that the US gov. worries that it's policy towards the Iranian government may be interpreted (or propogandized by the IRI) as being directed against the Iranian people themselves.

I hope you'll see fit to help pass the Secretary's message on.




Released on January 5, 2006

See http://www.state.gov/secretary/ for all remarks by the Secretary of State.
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