Scary but true. I guess screwing up our Syria policy and giving radical Islamics hope that a Democratic party will be an easy doormat wasn’t enough for the self proclaimed most powerful woman in the world, now according to Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle, she may be trying to give legitimacy to Iran’s terrorist regime. Maybe its better that she is going to Iran. At Disney she might scare the children.
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Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer
(04-10) 18:42 PDT — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, just back from a trip to Syria that sparked sharp criticism from Republicans and the Bush administration, suggested Tuesday that they may be interested in taking another diplomatic trip – to open a dialogue with Iran.
The Democratic speaker from San Francisco and Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, were asked at a press conference in San Francisco Tuesday whether on the heels of their recent trip to the Middle East they would be interested in extending their diplomacy in the troubled region with a visit to Iran.
“Speaking just for myself, I would be ready to get on a plane tomorrow morning, because however objectionable, unfair and inaccurate many of (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s) statements are, it is important that we have a dialogue with him,” Lantos said. “Speaking for myself, I’m ready to go — and knowing the speaker, I think that she might be.”
Pelosi did not dispute that statement, and noted that Lantos — a Hungarian-born survivor of the Holocaust — brought “great experience, knowledge and judgment” to the recent bipartisan congressional delegation trip to Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia in addition to Syria.
“I find the president of Iran’s remarks to be so repulsive that they are outside the circle of civilized human behavior,” Pelosi said, referring to Ahmadinejad’s past comments that Israel should be wiped off the face of the map and his questioning of the existence of the Holocaust.
“But a person of Mr. Lantos’ stature and personal experience is saying that — even as a Holocaust survivor and even recognizing the outrageous statements of the president of Iran — it’s important to have dialogue. I think that speaks volumes.”
Pelosi was criticized by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other members of the administration for meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who the administration said has meddled in the politics and fomented violence in Iraq and Lebanon and is a state sponsor of terrorism. Other Republicans, however, also visited Syria during the current congressional recess. One of those lawmakers, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), visited Syria a day after the Pelosi delegation and said the Bush administration should be talking with Assad as a way of trying to bring peace to the region.
The president also has tried to isolate Iran, saying its government, too, has aided attacks against Americans in Iraq and elsewhere while ramping up its efforts to build nuclear weapons.
Lantos said that for more than a decade, he has been trying to obtain a visa to visit Tehran with the help of former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan — and to date neither he nor any other member of Congress has been successful.
Pelosi said that throughout the congressional delegation’s recent Middle East trip, “every place we went we had a constant message: the safety and security of Israel, fighting terrorism.”
“There was, of course, a shadow over all of it, Iran: Iran’s support of terrorist groups is something that must be stopped,” she said. “Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon is something that must not happen and we must stop them with the strongest of diplomatic measures.”
Lantos noted that “with the speaker’s support,” he has co-sponsored legislation in the House that calls for making available to all countries — including Iran — nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes under international oversight by establishing a “nuclear fuel bank.”
“So if the Iranian president says that he is developing (nuclear material) for peaceful purposes, we are assisting him in that process,” said Lantos, who anticipated the legislation could pass as early as May.