I have a preview of a speech that the President will make in his address to The American Legion National Convention In Reno, Nevada this afternoon. In it he clearly defines Iran’s position in America’s war on terror:

The Second Strain Is Shia Extremism, Supported And Embodied By Iran’s Government. Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and the United States is working with friends and allies around the world to confront the danger presented by actions of Iran’s government. Iran’s leaders threaten the security of nations everywhere by:

  • Actively pursuing technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons
  • Arresting visiting American scholars who have committed no crimes and pose no threat to their regime
  • Backing Hezbollah terrorists who are trying to undermine the democratic government of Lebanon
  • Funding the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which murder the innocent, target Israel, and destabilize the Palestinian territories
  • Sending arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan, which can be used to attack American and NATO troops and Afghan civilians
  • Sending arms to extremists in Iraq that are used against Coalition and Iraqi troops, and Iraqi civilians.

He doesn’t stop there. Bush directly links Iran to attacks in Iraq – and the resulting coalition deaths.

Shia Extremists, Backed By Iran, Are Training Iraqis To Carry Out Attacks On Our Forces, The Iraqi Government, And The Iraqi People. Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force are supplying extremist groups with funding and weapons, including sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs). With the assistance of Hezbollah, they have provided training for violent forces active inside Iraq.

  • The Attacks On Our Bases And Our Troops Using Iranian-Supplied Munitions Have Increased In The Last Few Months – Despite Pledges By Iran To Help Stabilize The Security Situation In Iraq. Recently, Coalition forces seized 240-millimeter rockets that had been manufactured in Iran this year and provided to Iraqi extremist groups by Iranian agents.
  • The Iranian Regime Must Halt These Actions At Once. Some say Iran’s leaders are not aware of what members of their own regime are doing. Others say Iran’s leaders are actively seeking to provoke the West. Either way, Iranian leaders bear the responsibility for aiding attacks against Coalition forces and the murder of innocent Iraqis.

This has the feel of a significant turning point in our relationship with Iran. However, Iran’s rhetoric hasn’t shifted:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Tuesday that any action against the Iranian nation will be given proper response.

“I consider it unlikely if the US takes any such illogical and illegal action because the measure would turn into a joke worldwide.

They continue to work towards establishing an exploitable power vacuum in Iraq:

Speaking to domestic and foreign reporters, the president said the arrogant powers with their blind eyes cannot see the rights of Iraqi nation and their constitution.

“I advise the occupiers to halt their crimes and carnage which only make the current situation more complicated,” he said.

“You cannot bring to knees a nation with over seven thousand years of civilization by making use of four fighter planes and some soldiers, artillery and tanks,” he underlined.

“We advise you to amend your policies because through such harsh policies you will get nowhere,” he said.

“I truly declare that the political power of occupiers is on the decline and the region will witness the emergence of a big power,” underlined the president.

“We are ready to help restore security of the region through collective cooperation with our regional friends and Saudi Arabia,” he pointed out.

A major reality check looms on the horizon. It’s long overdue.

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