Iran News ...


6/5/03

Rumsfeld's deputy denies Pentagon split with Bush on Iran policy

US Assistant Secretary of Defense for public affairs Victoria Clarke took the unusual step Thursday of writing to the Financial Times of London to deny that her boss Donald Rumsefeld was seeking to make 'regime change' in Iran, IRNA reported from London.

"He has never said or implied that Iran is a target of US military action, neither is he 'spearheading efforts' to change US policy. He fully supports President George W. Bush's policy on Iran," Clarke said.

She accused the Financial Times of falsifying the facts, saying that the paper's headline news article last Friday, entitled 'Rumsfeld turns sight on Iran,' "grossly misrepresents the view of Donald Rumsfeld."

The daily said that if 'regime change' became official policy on Iran, the US would cut off diplomatic contacts, lend support to opposition groups and intensify economic pressure but would "not necessarily involve military action." But quoting officials and analysts, it said that the US defense secretary was "meeting considerable resistance from other senior figures" in the Bush administration to make regime change in Iran official policy.

In her rebuttal, the assistant secretary of defense insisted that Rumsfeld was "not advocating what was suggested" in what appeared to be a sensitive issue. "The headline, lead and intent of the article completely distorted the facts," she insisted.

He stated clearly US policy was to recognise the "churning" by women and young people in Iran and was hopeful the "Iranian people will have an opportunity to find ways to persuade the leadership in that country that they're going down the road," she said.

Despite her denial, the Financial Times said that it was standing by its story that Rumsfeld was trying to make regime change in Iran a central policy goal, but repeated that this would not necessarily involve military action.

... Payvand News - 6/5/03 ... --



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