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Text of a letter sent from President Bush to US Congress about Iran
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posted March 14, 2001 09:54
WASHINGTON, March 13 /U.S. Newswire/ --
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent the enclosed notice, stating that the emergency declared with respect to Iran is to continue in effect beyond March 15, 2001, to the Federal Register for publication. The most recent notice continuing this emergency was published in the Federal Register on March 14, 2000.
The crisis constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Iran, including its support for international terrorism, efforts to undermine Middle East peace, and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, that led to the declaration of a national emergency on March 15, 1995, has not been resolved. These actions and policies are contrary to the interests of the United States in the region and threaten vital interests of the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that I must continue the declaration of national emergency with respect to Iran necessary to maintain comprehensive sanctions against Iran to respond to this threat.
GEORGE W. BUSH
posted March 14, 2001 12:31
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) on Wednesday criticized Russia for cutting a new weapons deal with Iran. ``It is not wise to invest in regimes that do not follow international standards of behavior,'' Powell said.
Testifying before a friendly Senate Budget Committee, Powell said the Bush administration will pursue a ``realistic'' policy toward Moscow, intending to nudge Russia into a better relationship.
Ten years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Powell said, Russia ``no longer presents a threatening face to us.'' But, he said, ``Our goal should not be to see if we can make Russia our best friend.''
Zeroing in on an agreement Russian President Vladimir Putin (news - web sites) reached with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, Powell said ``we have to be candid with the Russians'' and tell them they should not be ``investing in weapons sales in countries such as Iran which have no future.''
``We don't want an enemy, we want a friend,'' Powell said, ``but we have to be realistic''
Powell told a reporter, meanwhile, he will ask Sergei Ivanov, Putin's national security assistant, to provide details of the decision to resume selling arms to Iran after a five-year hiatus.
``What exactly did they agree to? We will try to find that out,'' Powell said of the late afternoon meeting with Ivanov, who also saw his U.S. counterpart, Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites).
Afterward, Ivanov called their White House meeting a ``no-rubbish'' session.
They discussed the Bush administration's plan to build a missile defense system, but only in ``conceptual terms, because the administration itself is not quite ready yet,'' Ivanov told reporters through a translator. ``And we understand that, because the administration has not been formed completely yet.''
posted March 15, 2001 15:12
Thursday March 15 5:17 PM ET
House Wants Bush To Weigh Aid Cutoff
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than two dozen House members urged President Bush (news- web sites) to consider suspending U.S. aid to Russia for its decision to resume weapons sales to Iran.
The House members, headed by Rep. Joseph M. Hoeffel, D-Pa., cited in a letter a law that authorizes a cutoff to governments that help terrorist states. The State Department yearly brands Iran as a supporter of terrorism.
U.S. aid to Russia this year amounts to more than $1 billion. Included are $386 million to dismantle nuclear weapons under treaties with the United States. $384 million for safeguarding stockpiles, and $187 million for democratic institutions.
Hoeffel said in an interview Thursday that he was alarmed by the announcement of the arms deal in Moscow this week. ``Iran is a terrorist state, and strengthening their military is a security threat to the United States and U.S. allies such as Israel,'' he said.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Tuesday that if Russia sells advanced weapons or technology to Iran, ``the provisions of U. S. law would come into play.'' Under sanctions against Iran that former President Clinton (news - web sites) put into effect in 1995, the United States acted against seven Russian companies and three institutes in 1999 that it accused of aiding Iran's nuclear efforts.
On Wednesday, President Bush renewed the Clinton's 1995 emergency declaration that ruled out many forms of trading with Iran. In his action, Bush said Iran's Islamic government continues to sponsor terrorism, to work against the Middle East peace process and to acquire ``weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.''
Hoeffel said he was unaware that a new arms agreement loomed between Russia and Iran when he visited Moscow two weeks ago but complained to members of the Russian legislature about past arms sales and continuing technology transfers.
The Duma members defended the sales on economic grounds, saying Russia needed the money, Hoeffel said.
``What I would like to see Bush do is to tell them in no uncertain terms that the more than $1 billion in aid is threatened by this, and we are prepared to stop the assistance unless we can come to some understanding,'' Hoeffel said.
``If they want help with debt relief, that's something we ought to look at,'' he said. ``If they need more aid, that's something we ought to consider.''
Hoeffel said the United States should have a closer relationship with Russia, not a distant one, ``but part of the deal is they can't be selling weapons to terrorist states.''
In Washington for talks Wednesday, Sergei Ivanov, national security adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin (news - web sites), defended the arms agreement.
He said only defensive weapons, such as personnel carriers, tanks and anti-aircraft missiles, would be sold to Iran. Ivanov said the deal was ``very legitimate.''
He met in Washington with Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) and Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites), Bush's security adviser.
All times are PT (US)
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