Jul 12, 2008

Rice Warns Iran

Tensions seem to be growing between Iran and the US. this report is from today's New york Times

The confrontation between Iran and the United States seemed to sharpen on Thursday as Iran said it tested missiles for a second day and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States would defend its allies and protect its interests against an attack.
At a news conference in Georgia with President Mikheil Saakashvili, Ms. Rice said, “We will defend our interests and defend our allies.”
She also said, “We take very, very strongly our obligations to defend our allies and no one should be confused of that.”
The remarks came amid tense exchanges between Iran and the United States over Iran’s civilian nuclear program, which Washington and many Western governments have warned could be used to cloak the development of a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied. The Bush administration has refused to rule out a military option, and last month Israel’s air force rehearsed what American intelligence officials described as a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Israel has vowed to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and on Thursday it joined the battle of words, according to Reuters. Defense Minister
Ehud Barak said that he favored diplomatic pressure and sanctions, but that, “Israel is the strongest country in the region and has proved in the past it is not afraid to take action when its vital security interests are at stake.”
Adding to tensions, this week the United States and the Czech Republic signed an accord to allow the Pentagon to deploy part of its contentious antiballistic missile shield, which Washington maintains is intended to protect in part against Iranian missiles.
Meanwhile, American and British warships are engaged in maneuvers in the Persian Gulf. A private group of scientists in the United States interpreted the situation as a battle of exaggeration waged by both the Iranians and the Bush administration, Iran overstating the strength of its missiles and the United States overstating the need for missile defenses.
“Iran frequently exaggerates the capability of its missiles, and it appears it is continuing that tradition with this week’s tests,” said Dr. David Wright, a physicist with the
Union of Concerned Scientists. “Meanwhile, the Bush administration is using Iran’s missile tests to promote the U.S. antimissile system in Eastern Europe that has never been shown to work in a real-world situation.”