80 Nations Endorse
Leaders do not want American voters to know President Bush's successes in the Middle East. These Far-Left Leaders
want American voters to believe that America is alone, but for a couple of supporters in the world against the terrorists
and their supporters. Being endorsed by 80 nations is a pretty good deal!
Bush has 80 nations endorsing his initiative.
U.S., allies hold anti-WMD drill at Iran's doorstep
ABOARD RFA BRAMBLELEAF (Reuters) - Twenty five nations took part in a U.S.-led
naval exercise on Monday in waters not far from Iran aimed at training forces to block the transport of weapons of mass
destruction and related equipment.
The exercise comes as tensions rise between Iran and the West over its nuclear
program, which critics say has as its goal the production of a nuclear bomb. Iran says it is designed to meet energy needs.
It also comes three weeks after North Korea conducted a nuclear test and amid increased fears that a proliferation
of nuclear technology could make it easier for terrorists to get their hands on an atomic bomb or its components.
"The message is clear: 'responsible countries will not stand aside as proliferators
circumvent their international obligations'," U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain William Monroe told reporters at a Bahrain naval
facility after the drill.
"Responsible countries will not hesitate to deny proliferators safe haven,"
Monroe said, adding that the exercise had been planned several months ago.
Italy, the United States, Australia, Britain, France and Bahrain deployed
ships and personnel to the drill, part of the U.S. Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Other countries, including the
United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Pakistan and South Korea, sent observers.
Named "Leading Edge," the drill was the first such exercise to take place
in the Gulf, and Bahrain was the only Gulf Arab state to take an active role. Bahrain is home the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.
Iran said it was unconcerned about the exercise but warned those participating
not to destabilize the region.
"Given the amicable ties among countries of the region and the powerful
presence of ... Iran as standard bearer of peace, justice and security, there is no room for any concern," the official IRNA
news agency quoted government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham as saying.
In the exercise, Bahraini and Italian marines searched a British vessel
carrying mock nuclear detonators about 20 miles away from Iranian waters
in the Gulf.
Italian and Bahraini marines sped through the water in small inflatable
bloats and boarded a British vessel, the RFA Brambleleaf, which was designated the suspect ship.
Marines armed with machine guns guarded the crew as another team searched
the vessel for the detonators.
Some countries took part in planning the operation, whereby various intelligence
agencies worked on a scenario in which a vessel en-route to the UAE from Europe was suspected of carrying weapons of mass
The Bahraini, Qatari and UAE involvement in the U.S. initiative flies against
Iran's call on Sunday for regional security to be maintained by countries in the region.
Several Middle Eastern countries have endorsed PSI principles this year
after visits by U.S. officials to the region were stepped up, a State Department official who declined to be identified said.
Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states have traditionally been wary of Shi'ite Muslim
Iran's intentions in the region.
Leading Edge was the 25th PSI exercise since President Bush launched the initiative
in 2003. Eighty countries have endorsed PSI principles.