It’s easy for the Iranians to use the Administration’s language against it. If Bush had explained that we were fighting a defensive action against a global jihad, it wouldn’t be so easy for the jihadists to do this. From Arab News, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 5 May 2007 “” Iran and the United States dashed hopes of a major breakthrough at an international conference convened to stabilize war-torn Iraq when they held only mid-level talks yesterday.
The two-day meeting, however, wrapped up after a marked improvement in Washington’s strained relations with Iran’s traditional Syrian allies, signaling an apparent shift of US policy in the region.
Speculation had mounted since Thursday”s start of the conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice could hold historic talks with her Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki.
But at a meeting designed to enhance international cooperation on Iraqi security, Mottaki described US troops as “terrorists” and lashed out at Washington over the continued detention of Iranian officials seized in January. “To create a safe haven for those terrorists who try to turn Iraqi territory into a base for attacking Iraq’s neighbors should be condemned,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said he met a deputy foreign minister of Iran but played down the event. “It was very limited, very short and it was on Iraq,” he told reporters.
Rice for her part pointed out that a meeting at the same level had already taken place in March while Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari was more upbeat, stressing that the meeting was a “positive sign.”
The final statement on yesterday”s security meeting reaffirmed all participants” desire to “combat terrorist activities and prevent the use of their territory for supplying, organizing and launching terrorist operations.” “The participants agreed to… welcome offers by Arab and other countries to support the development of the professional capabilities of the Iraqi armed forces,” said the statement.