IRANIAN STUDENTS RIOT - BUSH/BLAIR RESPOND
Eli Lake reports that determined foes are challenging the Theocracy and Gateway pundit has the round up on the student riots. Some rioters even announced: "We Don't Want Nuclear Energy" Not surprisingly, the Mullahs blame the CIA and the Mossad for their ethnic troubles.
Careful not to get in the way, Bush and Blair emphasized their great respect for the Iranian people and the merely threatened Iran with isolation not bombing. Bush:
And so it's -- we -- we have no beef with the Iranian people. As a matter of fact, the United States respects the culture and history of Iran. And we want there to be an Iran that's confident and an Iran that answers to the needs of -- we want women in Iran to be free.
At the same time, we're going to continue to work with a government that is intransigent, that won't budge. And so we've got to continue to work to convince them that we're serious; that if they want to be isolated from the world, we will work to -- you know, to achieve that.
Of course the reporters were anxious to negotiate with Bush on behald of Iran but Bush is too experienced to fall into their trap:
Q: Should this enhanced package include a light-water reactor and a security guarantee?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, Steve -- Steve, you're -- you're -- you're responding to kind of press speculation. I've just explained to you that the Iranians walked away from the table and that I think we ought to be continuing to work on ways to make it clear to them that they will be isolated. And one way to do that is to -- is to continue to work together through the United Nations Security -- if they suspend and have the IAEA in there making sure that the suspension is real, then of course we'll talk about ways forward -- incentives.
But Blair did not wish to leave the impression that Iranian suspension of Uranium enrichment would suffice. So, he made sure to emphasize that the Mullahs must also end their support for terrorists.
Now, you know, we were just talking about Iran a moment ago. I mean, we want to have this resolved through the process of the multilateral institutions. There's a way we can do this. I mean, after all, we are the ones saying, the Atomic Energy Authority -- you know, their duties and obligations they lay upon Iran should be adhered to. And we've got absolutely no quarrel with the Iranian people. The Iranian people are a great people. Iran is a great country, but it needs a government that is going to recognize that part of being a great country is to be in line with your international obligations, and to cease supporting those people in different parts of the world who want by terrorism and violence to disrupt the process of democracy.
So, I mean, I think that our position vis Iran is a very reasonable one, and we want to see how we can make progress and help them to do the things that we believe that they should do. But they must understand that the will of the international community is sure and is clear, and that is that the obligations that are upon them have got to be adhered to.
These two play well together. My favorite moment was the one in which Bush chided a British reporter for dissing his PM:
Q: Prime Minister, this possibly your last official visit to Washington as prime minister.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Wait a minute! (Laughter.) Back-to-back disses.
Q: At least the beginning of the end of your particular special relationship. Will you miss the president? What will you miss about him?
PRESIDENT BUSH: (Laughs.)
Q: And for the president, what will you miss about Tony Blair? And what are you looking for in an eventual replacement?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Mm. I'll miss those red ties is what I'll miss. (Laughter.) I say one thing. He can answer the question. Don't count him out. Let me tell it to you that way. I know a man of resolve and vision and courage, and I -- my attitude is, I want him to be here so long as I'm the president.
PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Well, what more can I say? (Laughter.) Probably not wise to say anything more at all. (Laughter.) You guys, come on. I want you to -- the British delegation, ask a few serious questions. (Laughter.) Right, or we'll go on to one of your guys.
I, too, hope Blair would stay. I trust him to know and to do the right thing.
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