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Bush accuses Iran of backing terror

Reuters | September 19 2006

President George W. Bush said on Tuesday in a message to the Iranian people that the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is using their resources to fund terrorists and pursue nuclear weapons.

In his annual address to the U.N. General Assembly, Bush directed a portion of his remarks to Iranians, saying "you deserve an opportunity to determine your own future" and an economy that rewards their talents.

"The greatest obstacle to this future is that your rulers have chosen to deny you liberty and to use your nation's resources to fund terrorism and fuel extremism and pursue nuclear weapons," Bush said.

Bush has long sought to show his support for Iranians against a Tehran government that Washington sees as a major supporter of terrorism.

With the United States and Europeans pressuring Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, Bush told Iranians that "despite what the regime tells you, we have no objection to Iran's pursuit of a truly peaceful nuclear power program."

"We're working toward a diplomatic solution to this crisis. And as we do, we look to the day when you can live in freedom, and America and Iran can be good friends and close partners in the cause of peace," Bush said.

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