Sharon wants more states disarmed

Sharon wants more states disarmed

By Joe Baker, Senior Editor

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made his wishes known last month to a group of visiting U.S. congressmen. The Israeli daily, Ha’aretz reported Sharon told the legislators he wants Iran, Libya and Syria disarmed next after the U.S. completes its conquest of Iraq.

“These are irresponsible states,” Sharon said, “which must be disarmed of weapons of mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve.”

He said Israel was not involved in the war against Iraq, “but the American action is of vital importance (to Israel.)” Iraq, however, claims Israel is involved in the American fight against it.

Meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton, Sharon said Israel is concerned about the security threat posed by Iran (the same claim he made about Iraq), and stressed that it was important to deal with Iran even while American attention is focused on Iraq.

Bolton agreed it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea. He said Syria will have the chance to prove it is conforming to international norms of good behavior and that dealing with North Korea has been delayed for a time.

Sharon a short while later asked the U.S. for $10 billion in aid to prop up Israel’s collapsing economy.

On March 12, Senate Resolution 82 was introduced in the U.S. Senate. It states the resolution is expressing the sense of the Senate concerning “the continuous repression of freedoms with Iran and of individual human rights abuses, particularly with regard to women.”

The resolution terms Iran an ideological dictatorship “presided over by an unelected Supreme Leader with limitless veto power, an unelected Expediency Council and Council of Guardians capable of eviscerating any reforms, and a President elected only after the aforementioned disqualified 234 other candidates for being too liberal, reformist or secular.”

It also charges Iran is developing weapons of mass destruction and will be able to produce several nuclear weapons annually by 2005.

The resolution also accuses Iran of shipping 50 tons of modern weapons to the Palestinian Authority and consistent efforts to undermine peace in the Mideast. It further states Iran provides shelter to terrorists such as al Qaeda and the Taliban and allows arms to be moved across its terrain to guerrillas seeking to undermine the Turkish government and is aiding other terrorists trying to destabilize the U.S.-protected safe haven in Iraq.

Finally, the resolution says it should be U.S. policy to seek a democratic government in Iran and restore freedom, peace and security to the Iranian people.

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