Tags: Karl | Rove: | Iran | Leader | Not | Rational

Karl Rove: Iran Leader Not Rational

Wednesday, 12 April 2006 12:00 AM

HOUSTON -- Reaching a diplomatic solution over Iran's nuclear ambitions will be difficult because Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "not a rational human being," a senior White House adviser said on Wednesday.

The United States is pressing for the U.N. Security Council to take further action against Iran for pursuing its nuclear program, which the Bush administration says is a cover for producing weapons while Tehran says is for peaceful energy generation.

"We are engaged in a diplomatic process with our European partners and the United Nations to keep them from developing such a weapon," Karl Rove, deputy White House chief of staff, told an audience of business people at the Houston Forum.

"It's going to be difficult. It's going to be tough because they are led by ideologues who have a weird sense of history," he said.

Rove said his characterization of Ahmadinejad was based on statements the Iranian president made after speaking to the United Nations.

"Ahmadinejad spoke to the United Nations and afterwards was quoted as saying that for the 23 minutes that he spoke, there was a halo around his head that transfixed the audience and caused them to be completely focused on his message," he said.

Rove noted, however, that world leaders speaking before the U.N. General Assembly are often watched attentively in silence by the delegates. Rove said that President George W. Bush, for instance, says that speaking to the General Assembly is like appearing before a "waxworks."

"This guy (Ahmadinejad) had the sense that he was mystically empowered and as a result transfixed the audience - that is not a rational human being to deal with," he said.

International pressure increased on Iran to halt its nuclear program this week after Tehran declared it had produced enriched uranium.

"We're going to have to use every diplomatic tool with the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency and our partners in Europe to bring pressure to bear to stop this," Rove said.

Ahmadinejad drew international condemnation for saying the Holocaust was a myth. He also said Israel should be wiped from the map.

In Washington, White House spokesman Scott McClellan, asked about Rove's description of Ahmadinejad, said Bush has spoken out about the Iranian leader's "outrageous and offensive statements." Bush called the Iranian president an "odd guy" in an interview with PBS television in December.

© reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

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HOUSTON -- Reaching a diplomatic solution over Iran's nuclear ambitions will be difficult because Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "not a rational human being," a senior White House adviser said on Wednesday. The United States is pressing for the U.N. Security...
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Wednesday, 12 April 2006 12:00 AM
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