Monday, April 30, 2007

Kucinich Challenges Obama Assertion during S.C. Debate that Iran is Developing Nuclear Weapon Technology

During the Democratic Debate on April 26, 2007, Dennis Kucinich and Barack Obama exchanged views over Iran. Obama voiced views that are very similar to the views many mistakenly showed about Iraq in 2002.

The following article is from Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign website

Kucinich Challenges Obama Assertion during S.C. Debate that Iran is Developing Nuclear Weapon Technology

Washington, DC - - Presidential candidate and US Congressman Dennis Kucinich Friday challenged Senator Barack Obama's assertion, made in an exchange with Kucinich in Thursday's Democratic Presidential Debate in Orangeburg, South Carolina, that Iran is in the process of developing nuclear weapons.

"In last night's debate, Senator Obama revealed that he has fallen into the same trap which wrongly took us into war against Iraq. In one breath he conjured Iran as a threat: ('But, have no doubt, Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat to us and to the region.')

"And in the next breath he asserted that according to experts, Iran is developing nuclear weapons. : ' . . . but they're in the process of developing it. And I don't think that's disputed by any expert.' "Where is Senator Obama's proof for such a provocative statement?" Kucinich asked.

Kucinich said that in the exchange with Senator Obama he tried to interject the fact that Mohammed El Baradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency, recently asserted " . the difference between acquiring knowledge and having a bomb is at least five to ten years away. And that's why I said the intelligence, the British, intelligence, the American intelligence, is saying that Iran is still years, five to ten years away from developing a weapon. "

Senator Obama's assertion is eerily reminiscent of the statements of President George Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top ranking members of the Bush Administration, who, back in 2002 and 2003 falsely claimed Iraq was a threat to the United States and our allies, that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons capability.

Kucinich at the time wrote and circulated an analysis of all false claims made by the Bush Administration. "Clearly all other Senators running for President failed to read the easily accessible intelligence reports, hence their alleged 'mistaken' vote to invade Iraq," said Kucinich, the only Democratic Presidential candidate to vote against both the authorization for war and any funding of the war.

"While Iran has taken steps to develop nuclear power, which is the right of all signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever they are developing nuclear weapons," explained Kucinich.

"Senator Obama's doctrine with respect to Iran is 'All options are on the table,' which is unmistakably a euphemism for the consideration of a preemptive attack against Iran, including the use of nuclear weapons, which the Administration has shipped to the region. Senator Obama's rhetoric parrots speeches given by both President Bush and Vice President Cheney, as well as Democratic Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards regarding Iran."

"When you consider that last month the Congress took out of the Iraq Supplemental appropriation a provision that would have required congressional approval of a military attack on Iran, Senator Obama's faulty analysis and his mischaracterizations license an attack. This is the same kind of disastrous, faulty thinking that led us into war against Iraq and raises serious questions about Senator Obama's judgement on matters of national security."

Kucinich has long advocated reestablishing diplomatic ties with Iran as a means of deescalating tensions, opening up full diplomatic relations, resuming meaningful inspections of Iran's nuclear power program, and enlisting Iran's support in helping to end the war in Iraq.

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