US echoes 'axis of evil' talk
Tue, 22 Jul 2008 14:03:10
The US says Iran and North Korea still remain part of an 'axis of evil' despite moves to resolve disputes over their nuclear programs.
"Until they give up their nuclear weapons programs completely and verifiably, I think that we would keep them in the same category," the White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters.
Addressing the US Congress in January 2002, US President George W. Bush branded Iran, North Korea and the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein as 'axis of evil', claiming the three countries had links to terrorism and pursued weapons of mass destruction.
North Korea has agreed to reveal and dismantle its nuclear weapons program after Washington promised to remove Pyongyang from its terrorism watchlist and to promote economic and diplomatic relations with it.
"The US-backed diplomacy was bearing fruit with North Korea while Iran is a different story," she added.
Perino said that Tehran has not responded to a package proposed by the world powers, seeking a freeze in uranium enrichment in exchange for economic and diplomatic incentives.
The spokeswoman went on, "They came up well short. They're missing an opportunity for a very generous incentives package, and ...additional sanctions could be on the way."
Iran has maintained all along that its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity and that all its activities are in line with its rights under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The US and its allies, however, accuse Tehran of pursuing nuclear weaponry, insisting that the world must pressure the country into halting its nuclear work and threatening military action.
There is no doubt they are evil to the core.