News

    Pace Stands By Cautious Remarks on Iran

    The top American military officer is standing by remarks he made Monday, first reported by VOA, that appear to contradict U.S. military officials Baghdad, who said Iran's government is providing powerful bombs to Iraqi insurgents. The general also says the United States has no intention of attacking Iran. VOA's Al Pessin is traveling with the general, en route home from Australia and Indonesia, and filed this report from the Pacific island, Guam.

    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, says he has no disagreement with others in the U.S. government who have spoken on the subject, in recent days, but he believes it is important to be precise. In Canberra, and again twice in Jakarta, he repeated that the American government knows that material from Iran is being used to make powerful bombs in Iraq and that Iranians have been arrested twice, in the last month, participating in the distribution of such material.

    But, on all three occasions, he contradicted U.S. military briefers in Iraq, who told reporters Sunday that Iran's government is behind the effort.

    "That does not translate to that the Iranian government per se [specifically], for sure, is directly involved in doing this," he said.

    General Pace told a small group of military educators in Jakarta, Wednesday, it is important to be as precise as possible and that it is important for him to speak with clarity when discussing international relations. He says Iranian officials clearly know their weapons and people have been found inside Iraq, but says he does not know what level - inside the Iranian government - is involved in sending the people and material.

    The military briefers in Iraq - who spoke on condition of anonymity - said their claim that senior Iranian officials are directly involved in providing the powerful bombs to Iraqi insurgents was a conclusion based on what they called "the overall tenor" of the available evidence. Their evidence included numerous bomb parts they displayed and the arrest in Iraq of several Iranians who they say belong to the country's elite Quds force, including its second-ranking leader. But the briefers said they have not established a direct link between those men and the bomb-making material they showed reporters.

    White House spokesman Tony Snow indicated he believes the Baghdad briefers, saying there is not a lot of independent activity in the Iranian government - especially on an issue like supplying weapons to foreign insurgents. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the military briefers in Baghdad made a "very strong circumstantial case," and made it very clear that the Iranians are, in his words, "up to their eyeballs in this activity."

    General Pace says Iranian leaders certainly know material and people from their country have been found in the roadside bomb networks in Iraq. He told the educators in Jakarta that activity is "not acceptable." But, at his news conference Tuesday, he said the effort to stop it will be pursued only inside Iraq.

    "We can do what we need to do, militarily, to protect the U.S. armed forces and the other armed forces inside of Iraq, and we will continue to do so, aggressively," he said. "The rest of the Iranian story, then, goes to diplomacy amongst nations."

    The controversy over the Baghdad briefing led the New York Times to write an editorial calling for President Bush to make his intentions toward Iran clear and saying Congress should not allow itself to be convinced to support what the Times called "another disastrous war."

    Speaking to American military personnel at the American embassy in Canberra, Monday, General Pace said the United States has "zero intent" to use its military forces now in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf against Iran.

    "I see no need in the present situation for kinetic action against Iran," he said.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora