White House Stands By Iran Weapons Claim
12 February 2007
The White House says it stands by evidence showing a link between Iran and weapons found in Iraq. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports Iran's president says his country is not instigating conflict.
White House spokesman Tony Snow says the evidence is sound.
"There is evidence there has been some weaponry coming across the Iraqi border." Snow says the latest disclosure is in line with concerns voiced by President Bush that Iran may be trying to instigate violence in Iraq. He says the United States is releasing the evidence because it is determined to protect its troops, and not to make the case for possible military action against Iran.
"I do not know how much clearer we can be," he said. "We are not getting ready for war in Iran, but what we are doing is protecting our own people. And we are going to do it and we have made clear it is going to be a priority."
Snow notes that military investigators found serial numbers on weapons indicating they are of Iranian origin. They include the armor-busting roadside bombs that have claimed the lives of more than 170 coalition troops.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was asked about the evidence during an interview aired on American television. He told ABC's Good Morning America that the United States is trying to shift the blame for the lack of security in Iraq, adding peace will only come when the Americans leave Iraq.
"We shy away from any kind of conflict and any kind of bloodshed, and we will be sad by such," said Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. "We are opposed to any kind of conflict and as we have said repeatedly, we think the world problem can be solved through dialogue, the use of logic and a sense of friendship. There is no need for the use of force."
When asked about Iran's desire for peace, White House spokesman Snow had a quick response.
"Well, it has got funny ways of showing it," noted Tony Snow. "We think the Iranians, if they want to promote peace, need to stop funding Hezbollah, they need to stop funding terrorist organizations around the world."
Snow said America would love for the Iranians to be a force for peace in the region, and is waiting to see if President Ahmadinejad's words are followed by action.
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