News Release


May 12, 2003


WASHINGTON - As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback today criticized meetings taking place between the U.S. and Iran.

"I am very disturbed to read reports that the U.S. has been holding secretive meetings with Iran for the past few months," Brownback said. "What has the Iranian government done recently to deserve a meeting with the U.S. special envoy to the region?

"Just weeks ago, the State Department released the latest report on state sponsors of terrorism. Again, Iran is listed as the lead state sponsor - with direct backing of Hezbollah - which is known for spreading terrorism throughout the region.

"You can't make a deal with people who will never honor that deal. The Iranians are already sending their agents into Iraq and stirring up the Shiite population there - why would we ever think they would cease this activity?

"The very survival of this regime depends on the U.S. backing away from the pressure it has brought to bare. If we make a deal with Iran after removing Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, who were also threats to Iran, then we have done nothing more than help Iran export its tyranny. This is a form of government that exports terrorism, actively seeks the destruction of Israel, and is in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

"We cannot have it both ways - either we support the people of Iran, or we engage with the failed reformers who are controlled by the hardline clerics. It is as simple as that.

"This is such a momentous time in history. We are at a true crossroads. It is important for America to pursue a course that will lead to the death of tyranny. This requires that U.S. policy stand firm in support of oppressed people rather than oppressive governments. This is not only for our own security, but it is the right thing to do.

"Both in Iran or on the Korean peninsula, the U.S. should back those people that would stand up against their oppressors by providing them the means to organize, to disseminate information and to escape their oppressors.

"The death of these tyrannies will unleash the natural inclinations of human beings to live in a free, democratic society, which is the only way we will have true security," Brownback said.

Erik Hotmire Communications Director

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback

303 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510

224-6521 -(202)