First Published: 2003-05-31

US would like different kind of regime in Iran

Rice signals US determined to address Iranian threat as Bush says using force in Iran is idle speculation.


Middle East Online

She described Iran's threat it in similar terms to that formerly posed by Saddam's regime

LONDON - The United States would like to see a different kind of regime in Iran, which will move away from "pursuing an aggressive agenda based on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction", Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser to US President George W. Bush, told Saturday's Financial Times.

But Rice's statement of US ambitions in an interview with the paper fell short of the desire for regime change in Tehran, the London-based business daily said.

The FT said, however, that Rice had signalled that Washington was determined to address an Iranian threat, describing it in similar terms to that formerly posed by Saddam Hussein's toppled regime in Iraq.

Rice told the paper that the White House wanted to see an elected government in Tehran which meets the demands of the Iranian people for "a regime which protects the rights of women, which is forward looking and modern."

Washington has stepped up its criticism of Tehran's Islamic regime in recent days and US media reports have said the White House is mulling its own campaign to undermine Iran's clerical theocracy.

However Bush dismissed reports of a planned attack on Iran as "idle speculation" in a Russian television interview broadcast late Friday.

"We've had all kinds of reports that we're going to use force in Syria and now some in the left I guess are saying force in Iran, force here and force there," he told Russia's state-run Rossiya channel.

"You know, this is pure speculation and we used force in Iraq after a long, long period of diplomacy. People love to speculate about US intentions and our military and I'm just telling you it's idle speculation," Bush added.

The US-led coalition in Iraq turned up the pressure on neighbouring Iran on Friday with a warning against Islamist hardliners it said were pouring in to destabilise the country.

The announcement on coalition radio in Baghdad came on the heels of charges by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday that Tehran was shipping elite troops across the border into Iraq.


US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria

Saudi, UAE seeks to help West Africa fight terrorism

Somali journalist dies after Mogadishu bombing