Rice Calls Dialogue With Iran Pointless
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice escalated the Bush administration’s anti-Iran rhetoric on Tuesday, accusing its government of pursuing nuclear weapons and calling any dialogue with its leaders pointless until they suspend the country’s enrichment of uranium.
While Ms. Rice’s message was familiar, the tone of her speech, before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was unusually sharp, taking oblique aim at Senator Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders who have called for the United States to engage Iran diplomatically.
“We would be willing to meet with them but not while they continue to inch toward nuclear weapons under the cover of talks,” she told the group, a pro-Israel lobby known by its acronym, Aipac. “The real question isn’t why won’t the Bush administration talk to Iran. The real question is why won’t Iran talk to us.”
Ms. Rice stopped short of calling for consideration of military strikes against suspected Iranian nuclear targets, as some national security conservatives in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office have advised. But, in a pointed nod to her pro-Israel audience, Ms. Rice called on America’s allies in Europe to look for ways to further press the Iranian government.--Snip--
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