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Bush brands Iran leader a 'tyrant'

AFP | September 5 2006

US President George W. Bush on Tuesday branded Iran's president a tyrant and compared leaders in Tehran to Al-Qaeda terrorists who cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

"America will not bow down to tyrants," he said in the second of a series of election-year speeches defending his handling of the war on terrorism and Iraq. "The world's free nations will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon."

Bush accused Iran of funding the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah and other groups "to attack Israel and America by proxy" and said Hezbollah was second only to Al-Qaeda in the number of US citizens it has killed.

"Like Al-Qaeda and the Sunni extremists, the Iranian regime has clear aims. They want to drive America out of the region, to destroy Israel, and to dominate the broader Middle East," said the US presidents.

But, he said, Shiite extremists have done something Al-Qaeda only dreams of by taking over Iran in 1979, "subjugating its proud people to a regime of tyranny and using that nation's resources to fund the spread of terror and to pursue their radical agenda."

"The Iranian regime and its terrorist proxies have demonstrated their willingness to kill Americans, and now the Iranian regime is pursuing nuclear weapons," said Bush.

The US president quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying, in an August 15 speech, "If you would like to have good relations with the Iranian nation in the future, bow down before the greatness of the Iranian nation and surrender."

"If you don't accept to do this, the Iranian nation will force you to surrender and bow down," he quoted the Iranian leader as saying.

"America will not bow down to tyrants," he replied.


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