Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2021 SL770
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
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'Think what I think -- or else' -- Bush to Maliki
Listen up, Bush tells Maliki: Iran is a danger to the Middle East
In a warning to the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, President George Bush said Iran was a danger to the Middle East, and that if Mr Maliki did not share that view, Mr Bush would have a "heart to heart" talk with him.
Mr Bush denounced Iran for its support of terrorist groups and for its nuclear program and threats to Israel. He warned that Iran would face unspecified consequences if it continued to provide explosives that kill and injure US troops.
His comments on Thursday came as Mr Maliki concluded a visit to Iran, where he held apparently harmonious meetings with top Iranian officials. Mr Bush said he presumed Mr Maliki shared his critical view of the Iranian Government, but he added that "if the signal [from Mr Maliki] is that Iran is constructive, I will have a heart to heart with my friend the Prime Minister, because I don't believe they are constructive".
US officials believe Mr Maliki's Government shares its concern about Iranian-supplied weapons and other problems, but they also acknowledge anxiety about Iran's fundamentalist regime, which is increasing aid and trade with Iraq and has close personal ties to officials throughout the Iraqi Government.
The growing intimacy of Iraq and Iran was on display late this week, when Mr Maliki met the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other leaders. In a joint appearance, Mr Maliki told Mr Ahmadinejad that Iran had a "positive and constructive" role in improving security in Iraq, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Mr Maliki and the Iranian Vice-President, Parviz Davoudi, were portrayed by the Iranian news media on Thursday as seeing eye to eye on several security matters, including condemning all forms of terrorism and expressing support for Iraq's stability.
Mr Bush said he wanted to be briefed by US officials in Baghdad before drawing conclusions about the meetings in Tehran. But he added: "My message to the Iranian people is, you can do better than the current government".
"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon