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Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
May 1, 2006

The Iranian Regime: A Challenge to the World

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"The international community is (also) speaking with one voice to the radical regime in Tehran. Iran is a nation held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people, and denying them basic liberties and human rights. The Iranian regime sponsors terrorists and is actively working to expand its influence in the region. The Iranian regime has advocated the destruction of our ally, Israel. And the Iranian regime is defying the world with its ambitions for nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats, and Iran's aggressive behavior and pursuit of nuclear weapons is increasing its international isolation." —President George W. Bush

Admiration for the Iranian People

The United States admires and respects the Iranian people and supports their right to determine their own future. As the President has stated, the United States hopes one day soon to be the closest of friends with a free, sovereign and democratic Iran.

The United States:

  • Stands with the Iranian people as they confront a corrupt, repressive regime.
  • Supports their efforts to promote positive political change, economic prosperity, and freedom.
  • Offered assistance in the aftermath of earthquakes in 2003, 2005, and 2006.
  • Asked Congress to fund an ambitious program offering the Iranian people:
    • unbiased information
    • empowerment of local activists
    • development of civil society
    • civic education and advocacy training

Human Rights Violations

Iran's human rights record is abysmal and its democracy deficit is growing.
The Iranian Government regularly commits:

  • Summary executions
  • Disappearances
  • Torture
  • Arrest and detention of activists, journalists and religious minorities

Nuclear Non-Compliance

The international community has been clear that we cannot tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. Under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, states have a right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but the international community does not accept Iran's right to manipulate its access to peaceful programs to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran has:

  • Abused its Nonproliferation Treaty privileges for years in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
  • Pursued a clandestine nuclear program for 18 years.

On February 4, 2006, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted 27-3 to report Iran's program to the UN Security Council.

On March 29, 2006, the UN Security Council issued a Presidential Statement (PRST) calling on Tehran to fully suspend its enrichment-related activities, cooperate with the IAEA, and implement the Additional Protocol.

Support of Terrorism

Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2005.

Iran has:

  • Refused to start judicial proceedings against, render to countries of origin, or identify publicly senior al-Qa'ida members.
  • Played a high profile role in encouraging anti-Israeli terrorist activity, including public threats to wipe Israel off the map as well as provision of financial and military assistance to Hizbullah and Palestinian extremists, enabling them to launch terrorist attacks.
  • Provided financial and lethal support, including explosivesrelated components, to Iraqi Shia militants who have attacked Coalition forces.

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