Israeli FM Raises Concern about Iran with Rice
July 02, 2004
The Associated Press
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told the White House on Friday that Iran was trying to develop longer-range missiles that could pose a threat to European nations.
Shalom took his concerns to Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, and then told reporters: "We cannot allow the Iranians to move forward in their efforts to develop nuclear weapons."
Israel's long-held concern that it could be targeted was registered again by Shalom. "The Iranians still continue to do everything they can in order to develop nuclear weapons that might, of course, be used against Israel," he said.
In fact, the foreign minister said, Iranians have warned on several occasions that one missile fired toward Israel would destroy the country.
"I believe the concern of Israel is shared by many other countries that know how the Iranians are trying to develop new missiles with much longer range," he said, adding that they might hit many European countries, such as France, Britain, Germany and Russia.
Shalom also said Iran was involved in terror attacks, saying, "They are trying to recruit more volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against Israelis and against Western countries."
The White House made no statement after Shalom's meeting with Rice.
Last month, Secretary of State Colin Powell hinted Iran could face U.N. economic sanctions if it did not prove it had no nuclear weapons program.
"The international community is expecting (Iran) to answer its questions and to respond fully," Powell said June 21 after meeting at the State Department with Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The State Department is cautioning Americans against traveling to the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain, citing information that extremists were planning attacks. The department, in a travel warning Thursday, also advised Americans who live there to leave. The warning did not elaborate on reported threats except to say terrorists were at large and the information was credible.
Last month, six men were released after being detained on suspicion of plotting terror attacks. Bahrain has stepped up security on a 15-mile causeway that links the country to Saudi Arabia.
"The threat of terrorism is very real," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Friday.
Ignoring Iran, you say? Just let me check the "Irradicate the Axis of Evil Priority List." Let's see, Afghanistan and Iraq have been crossed off, Libya has apencil line through it, too. Nope, the next country on deck is Iran. Nope, going according to schedule. After Iran, there's Saudi Arabia! What? Oh, yeah, that's the confidential "Axis of Evil List," but, it still has Iran as next up.