News Release

· Iran · Syria

CARAH ONG
Ong is Iran Policy Analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation. She said today: “For those who have been monitoring the capture of 15 British soldiers in the disputed waters in the Straits of Arab al Assat, the peaceful conclusion today points to further evidence of how Iran is saying it wants to be treated by the international community. If the international community sits down and negotiates with Iran, the country will respond in kind. Perhaps the U.S. should learn a lesson from this most recent experience.”
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JAMES ABOUREZK
A former U.S. Senator from South Dakota, Abourezk has met several times with Syrian President Bashar Asad. Abourezk said today: “Because Bush has damaged relations with Syria so badly, any positive contact between U.S. government officials and the Syrian government should be welcome and could prevent a wider war. In one of my visits with Asad, he noted that Syria helped thwart a plot by Al-Qaeda against the U.S. in Bahrain. This saved U.S. lives but the Bush administration never acknowledged this. Instead, they’ve been bad-mouthing Syria so much, they undermine such cooperation and threaten U.S. lives. The U.S. Ambassador [to Syria] told me that Asad had stopped more than one Al-Qaeda operation by warning the United States. And now he’s stopped cooperation because of Bush’s antagonistic attitude.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020