Palin: Ahmadinejad must be stopped

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September 24, 2008 15:14
4 minute read.

 
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The following are remarks Gov. Sarah Palin originally intended to be heard at the anti-Iran rally in New York: I am honored to be with you and with leaders from across this great country - leaders from different faiths and political parties united in a single voice of outrage. Tomorrow, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will come to New York - to the heart of what he calls the Great Satan - and speak freely in this, a country whose demise he has called for. Ahmadinejad may choose his words carefully, but underneath all of the rhetoric is an agenda that threatens all who seek a safer and freer world. We gather here today to highlight the Iranian dictator's intentions and to call for action to thwart him. He must be stopped. The world must awake to the threat this man poses to all of us. Ahmadinejad denies that the Holocaust ever took place. He dreams of being an agent in a "Final Solution" - the elimination of the Jewish people. He has called Israel a "stinking corpse" that is "on its way to annihilation." Such talk cannot be dismissed as the ravings of a madman - not when Iran just this summer tested long-range Shihab-3 missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv, not when the Iranian nuclear program is nearing completion, and not when Iran sponsors terrorists that threaten and kill innocent people around the world. The Iranian government wants nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran is running at least 3,800 centrifuges and that its uranium enrichment capacity is rapidly improving. According to news reports, US intelligence agencies believe the Iranians may have enough nuclear material to produce a bomb within a year... So, what should we do about this growing threat? First, we must succeed in Iraq. If we fail there, it will jeopardize the democracy the Iraqis have worked so hard to build, and empower the extremists in neighboring Iran. Iran has armed and trained terrorists who have killed our soldiers in Iraq, and it is Iran that would benefit from an American defeat in Iraq. If we retreat without leaving a stable Iraq, Iran's nuclear ambitions will be bolstered. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons - they could share them tomorrow with the terrorists they finance, arm, and train today. Iranian nuclear weapons would set off a dangerous regional nuclear arms race that would make all of us less safe. But Iran is not only a regional threat; it threatens the entire world. It is the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism. It sponsors the world's most vicious terrorist groups, Hamas and Hizbullah. Together, Iran and its terrorists are responsible for the deaths of Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s, in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, and in Iraq today. They have murdered Iraqis, Lebanese, Palestinians and other Muslims who have resisted Iran's desire to dominate the region. They have persecuted countless people simply because they are Jewish. Iran is responsible for attacks not only on Israelis, but on Jews living as far away as Argentina. Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are part of Iran's official ideology and murder is part of its official policy. Not even Iranian citizens are safe from their government's threat to those who want to live, work, and worship in peace. Politically-motivated abductions, torture, death by stoning, flogging, and amputations are just some of its state-sanctioned punishments... This is an issue that should unite all Americans. Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Period. And in a single voice, we must be loud enough for the whole world to hear: Stop Iran! Only by working together, across national, religious, and political differences, can we alter this regime's dangerous behavior. Iran has many vulnerabilities, including a regime weakened by sanctions and a population eager to embrace opportunities with the West. We must increase economic pressure to change Iran's behavior. Tomorrow, Ahmadinejad will come to New York. On our soil, he will exercise the right of freedom of speech - a right he denies his own people. He will share his hateful agenda with the world. Our task is to focus the world on what can be done to stop him. We must rally the world to press for truly tough sanctions at the UN or with our allies if Iran's allies continue to block action in the UN. We must start with restrictions on Iran's refined petroleum imports. We must reduce our dependency on foreign oil to weaken Iran's economic influence. We must target the regime's assets abroad: bank accounts, investments and trading partners. President Ahmadinejad should be held accountable for inciting genocide, a crime under international law. We must sanction Iran's Central Bank and the Revolutionary Guard Corps - which no one should doubt is a terrorist organization. Together, we can stop Iran's nuclear program. Senator McCain has made a solemn commitment that I strongly endorse: Never again will we risk another Holocaust. And this is not a wish, a request, or a plea to Israel's enemies. This is a promise that the United States and Israel will honor, against any enemy who cares to test us. It is John McCain's promise and it is my promise. Thank you.

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