Don't Get Mad - Get
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
"The Merchant of
The proposition is this .....
July 3, 1988
290 die after two missiles are fired by USS Vincennes at Iran Air Flight 655 A300 Airbus flying at 13,000 feet over Gulf.
July 17, 1996
230 die after two missiles are fired at TWA Flight 800 747-100 flying at 13,700 feet over Atlantic.
December 12, 1996 Associated Press
The new, more violent face of terrorism in the 1990s can be summed up in a single word - 'revenge' - an FBI assistant director (Kallstrom) said in a speech at a synagogue.
Could it be that simple?
August 3, 1996 CNN Web posted at: 12:30 a.m. EDT
http://cnn.com/US/9608/02/twa.800.7p/index.html Kallstrom refused to comment on reports that the FBI was looking into Iranian terrorist groups in connection with the TWA investigation. "We investigate Iranian terrorist cells all the time," Kallstrom said. "Iran is one of the terrorist nations, so described by the State Department along with the others that you know. So, obviously we have our ear close to the ground on any activity of known terrorists. What the nexus would be with this, if it is a terrorist act, I'm not going to discuss."
He may not discuss it, but we should! As has been shown in other articles at this website, Iran has trained and funded others to commit terrorist acts against the United States. But was TWA 800 an act that Iran felt it had to carry out itself? Surrogates could have been employed, but would the use of surrogates have righted the affront felt by Iran for the loss of Iran Air Flight 655? After all isn't revenge personal?
What evidence exists that the downing of TWA 800 was a direct Iranian act? Two missiles were fired at their plane off their coast. Evidence indicates that two missiles were fired at our plane off our coast.....
"Almost due south [of the helicopter], there was a hard white light, like burning pyrotechnics, in level flight," Capt. Chris Baur told investigators. "I was trying to figure out what it was. .. It struck an object coming from the right and made it explode." ..... Two NY Air National Guard pilots with the best view of the crash of TWA 800 ....... one believes the airliner was struck by a fast-moving object coming from the east, while the other saw a fiery trail from the west.... Meyer's attention was first called to the area ...."by a streak of light moving from my right (west) to my left (east)," the same direction as the TWA flight .... Baur, on the left side of the cockpit, saw a streak moving from left to right toward the approaching TWA aircraft before the initial explosion. The streak of light that Meyer saw .....was red-orange in color .....there was what Meyer describes as a hard, very sudden, yellowish-white explosion that looked identical to the detonation of an anti-aircraft shell ....."It left a cloud of smoke just like a flak explosion does," Meyer said. "One to two seconds later, there was a second, hard explosion almost pure white in color ... almost immediately there was a third explosion and fireball."...Baur also saw three explosions ..
The two pilots are describing two missiles. Some more.....
July 29, 1997 Riverside Press
An Air National Guard helicopter pilot who witnessed the explosion of TWA Flight 800 believes the jetliner was downed by an explosive projectile, The Press-Enterprise newspaper reported today. Frederick C. Meyer, one of two helicopter pilots who saw the plane explode, said he did not know what the projectile was or where it came from, but is convinced he saw an "ordnance explosion'' near the plane. ...........Meyer, 57, said he saw a streak from west of the spot where the jetliner exploded. His co-pilot that night, Capt. Chris Baur, told investigators he saw a streak coming from the east. Baur has previously said he believed a missile struck the plane. Meyer said he believes there were two projectiles but could only testify about the one he saw.
Rosa and Khalilch Gray reported being on the beach when they saw double orange flares streak upward and explode into a large orange fireball. The flares (plural) were ... trailed by a grey smoke. (Suffolk NY Police Reports Case # 96-435598)
Barbara Pacholk interviewed by Tom Stalcup on 1/28/98 said she saw two objects rise ... the first object exploded near the tail and the second near the nose. She also saw a black submarine and its periscope. .. She believes that it is possible that at least one missile came from this sub. She also noticed two large navy vessels in the ocean. One of which quickly left the area after the tragedy. On November 19, 1997 in the New York Post Pacholk said: "I know what I saw, I saw several fires go across the sky. One hit the plane at the tail and the second hit at the front, just before the wings.
Frank Lenahan and his wife were sitting on their outside deck when Frank saw two red streaks, very vivid in color ascend ...He bought this to the attention of his wife who was turned, and she saw one streak go west to east, straight across the horizon just above the dune line. They didn't follow the streak(s) all the way up as they assumed it was fireworks.(Suffolk NY Police Reports Case # 96-435598)
Brigadier General Benton K. Partin (USAF, Ret.) has also concluded that two missiles were involved and he speculated about the launch vessel opining that Russian-built subs have the necessary missile capabilities .....
THE NEW AMERICAN - American Opinion Publishing, Incorporated
One immensely qualified analyst who agrees in part with Commande Donaldson is Brigadier General Benton K. Partin (USAF, Ret.), one of the world's leading experts on military explosives and missiles. General Partin, who has a masters degree in aeronautical engineering, .... found his attention drawn to the data from Flight 800's final seconds but draws different conclusions when considering other vital information. ...... "the eyewitness account provided by Major Meyer who was probably the most qualified observer, and he was headed straight toward the event coupled with evidence gathered from the recovered wreckage, suggests a different scenario from the one offered by Donaldson, involving one, if not two, missiles using continuous-rod warheads." A continuous-rod (CR) warhead is detonated with a proximity fuse, which means that it would not actually collide with the aircraft. The detonation causes an expanding, accordion-style steel rod to unfold which slices the target in two. "If you examine the assembled wreckage of Flight 800, you can't help but notice how cleanly the 80-foot forward section was severed from the aircraft in front of the wing," General Partin observes. "It looks like ''melon that's been cut with a saber. Well, that's exactly how a CR warhead is supposed to work." Partin further observes that the recovered fuselage wreckage, unlike the forward section, "displays a lot of soot and fire damage. The forward fuselage, however, is remarkably free of that type of damage. This suggests tha tit was not a full explosion that did that particular damage, meaning once again that a CR warhead may have been responsible." General Partin notes that Major Meyer has testified to seeing two separate flashes, the latter of which grew into a fireball. This also fits the CR profile, assuming that two separate missiles were fired, and that's a sound assumption, given that shoot-downs almost always involve two missiles as was the case with the KAL 007 and Iranian Airbus shoot-downs. If a CR warhead was used against Flight 800, the first would have cut off the forward fuselage, and the second would have cut into the fuselage, causing a full explosion and fire. The CR warhead theory would also provide an explanation for the FBI's decision to give missile-related scenarios a wide berth. "This technology isn't readily available to common terrorists, and not many people have it," he pointed out. "We developed it in the 1950s. The Russians are up to their ears in CR technology as well." The CR-related scenario thus implies either ''tragic "friendly fire" incident, or an act of foreign terrorism. Referring to speculation that Flight 800 might have been felled by a submarine-launched missile, Partin observed, "None of our submarines carry CR-equipped missiles. However, many Russian-manufactured subs carry them."
The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has also speculated about a 'missile from a sub' scenario ....
January 9, 1998 USA Today
Retired admiral Thomas Moorer, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Thursday for new congressional hearings into TWA Flight 800. ..... "This time, I wouldn't let the FBI do it," Moorer said. "I'd have the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) do it." Moorer and other retired Navy brass, at a news conference, expressed suspicion over the FBI's 18-month investigation of the disaster. "All the evidence would point to a missile," Moorer said. Moorer, an expert on missiles, attended the news conference convened by a media watchdog group that scoffs at the NTSB and FBI findings. ....The retired officers speculated a missile could have come from .... a submarine ....
It is strange with all of this evidence that the C.I.A. should have gone so far as to produce a video to discredit the eyewitnesses, but then if it knew that Iran was directly involved, and provided proof, the United States would be at war. Yet, the government seemed to have been searching for something ....
August 9, 1996 The Seattle Times.
According to a report in Newsday, the theory that a missile downed the jet ... remains alive because investigators have chronicled an "unusual" amount of radar use among slow-moving ships along the coast for several days before the crash, and have interviewed credible witnesses who say they saw a fiery streak head toward the aircraft before it plummeted in flames.
What were the ships looking for? Had the intelligence organizations information that there was a pending terrorist action? Did they know that missiles had been launched prior to the downing of TWA 800 in the same area?
August 12, 1996 TIME Magazine
A well-placed U.S. intelligence source has told TIME that calls and transmissions tracked by the CIA out of Tehran "have raised suspicions" that there is an Iranian connection to the crash. The CIA is also looking at intelligence on a meeting of terrorist leaders in Iran the month before the crash to see if any green light was given for the attack. "There is a hard look being taken at the Iran possibility," says a senior U.S. intelligence official. However, he adds. the intelligence gathered so far is "vague, nothing solid." Even so, he says, it is "tantalizing".
Iran was known to be deeply involved in planning terrorist attacks using what were termed "super-mortars". The threat from this technology was so pronounced that it drove the U.S. goverment to relocate its Saudi military bases to the desert .....
January 12, 1997 Electronic Telegraph Issue 597
Iran is planning a fresh wave of terrorist attacks throughout Europe using purpose-built "super-mortars"..... developed specially by Iran's Organisation of Military Industry for terrorist operations. The 320mm mortar, which can be dismantled and transported in lorries and is considerably more powerful than the conventional weapon ..... ........ Reports received by Western intelligence agencies suggest that Iran has dispatched 15 similar weapons to terror cells throughout Europe..... The Iranians are keen to deploy their super-mortars throughout Europe ....Western intelligence agencies have been closely monitoring the activities of suspected Iranian terrorist cells in Europe after a prototype of the mortar weapon was discovered in an Iranian freighter ....... on docking in Antwerp last year. ... A team of international intelligence officials, including British and US technical experts, studied the mortar parts for several months and concluded they belonged to an exceptionally powerful weapon Iran has developed with terrorist operations in mind. American intelligence officials fear the weapon might be used to attack US bases in the Middle East. William Perry, the outgoing US Defence Secretary, ordered American military personnel in Saudi Arabia to relocate from Dhahran .... to a remote desert air base .... at the end of last year to increase their protection from the weapon. .... The launchers weigh more than half a ton, while the mortar rounds each contain more than 250lb of explosives. .... The Iranians were also embarrassed by the seizure of their prototype super-mortar by Belgian officials last year, especially as two senior Iranian intelligence officials were on board the freighter when it was searched in Antwerp.
The U.S. government was so concerned with Iran's growning missile capabilities that it "sabotaged" weapons deals .....
April 17, 1997 International News Electronic Telegraph
American intelligence officials tried to sabotage a Russian weapons deal with Iran yesterday by leaking details of two meetings monitored in Moscow in which arms shipments were agreed. These included the transfer to Teheran of 500 advanced shoulder-launched "Igla" anti-aircraft missiles. The US is indicating that the shipments are being organised by Russian brokers acting separately from Rosvooruzheniye, the state arms exporter, and offering discount prices. Other older surface-to-air systems were also discussed, as well as the transfer of T-72 tanks and Mi-17 transport helicopters. ... Washington fears that the missiles are destined for use by Hizbollah, the Teheran-backed terrorist group. With a range of 10,500 feet, they could be used in Lebanon against Israeli aircraft.
Things got so bad that ....
April 20, 1997 The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition) Issue
Hard-liners at the US Defense Department are pushing for a massive strike against Iran..... there is also strong pressure within the Pentagon for a broader attack to cripple the growing military power of the Islamic regime. Sources say that this would include a Pearl Harbor-style strike to annihilate the Iranian navy before it can become a threat to US naval operations in the Gulf, and heavy bombing raids to set back Iran's nuclear weapons programme...."The worst possible response would be a silly missile attack in the middle of the night that stirs up a hornet's nest without doing any real damage," says Ken Timmerman, editor of the Iran Brief in Washington. "If you are going to hit them, you've got to do it so hard they spend the next 10 years recovering."
Did Iran have the necessary submarine capability to pull off the TWA 800 attack?
At some point in 1993 Iran managed to purchase two (possibly three) Kilo-class submarines from the Russian Republic (http://www.fas.org/irp/imint/kilo.htm) Diesel subs, especially the updated Kilo-class bought by Iran, have a much better ability to operate quietly with stealth in shallow coastal waters (unlike the larger and more sophisticated nuclear powered attack subs). While the US Navy was reeling from accusations of friendly fire, it admitted that a US Navy P3 Orion had dropped 39 sonic buoys about 80 miles south of the crash site. The P3 is the US Navy's key airborne submarine hunter. Further, Iran had purchased two types of sea-launched surface-to-air missiles from the United Kingdom, one legally and one illegally. The legal purchase was for the GWS 20 Seacat missile which is made in the UK by Short Brothers. The illegal purchase was for the Skyguard missile made in the UK by BMARC.
Iran also had 200 RBS 70's which are laser-homing 'fire and forget' weapons. The RBS 70 has a shaped charge warhead of high explosive surrounded by tungsten pellets which spray a target with multiple tungsten fragments. The passage of these tungsten fragments through the fuselage would explain the holes punched through the metal plates of seatbacks and a hole in the CWT. (http://www.fas.org/spp/aircraft/part12.htm)
The Pentagon also eventually acknowledged that quiet subs and missiles were becoming an alarming threat ...
April 20, 1997 The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition)
The Pentagon ... has watched with alarm as the Iranians acquired three Russian Kilo-class submarines with quiet diesel engines that are hard to detect. Iran has also been buying advanced C-802 cruise missiles from China which could pose a serious danger to US warships in the Gulf. Hard-liners see retaliation for the Khobar Towers bombing as an opportunity to deal with the Iranian military before it has the means to choke the Straits of Hormuz, the source of 12 million barrels of oil a day, a third of the industrial world's oil supply....... Military analysts are afraid that the Clinton policy of "dual containment" of both Iran and Iraq is becoming a dangerous fiction. Herb Meyer, former vice-chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, warns that Iran and Iraq may join forces to drive the US out of the Gulf and seize the Saudi oil fields, with consequences that are almost unthinkable. It is a nightmare waiting to happen ........
June 30, 1997 Navy Times
....Three Kilo-class Russian-made submarines have been bought since 1992, the latest arriving in the past few months. ... There are reports that the Iranians have added up to three Korean "mini-subs" to their fleet as well. Iran bought 10 new Hudong-class fast-attack patrol boats from China a year ago. While they're small, they pack a mean punch ... Regional experts say it is unlikely Iran would attack unless provoked. But with evidence mounting that Iran was involved in the Khobar Towers bombing, a punitive strike ... may be inevitable. "Iran would be best off to act like a martyr if they were attacked," said Cordesman. "But if you look at the past, they might fire off some missiles to show that they can't be attacked without reprisal".
If you look at the past, they might fire off some missiles to show that they can't be attacked without reprisal. Really!
But economic interests in the United States and the election of a "moderate" President in Iran eventually began to take precedence and the TWA 800 downing was therefore allowed to fade into history as the result of an unfortunate spark in the center fuel tank ....
August 18, 1997 NT Times Editorial Opinion: America's Iran Policy
For nearly two decades, American foreign policy makers have looked with thinly disguised contempt at attempts by their European counterparts to build a constructive dialogue with Iran. These diplomatic overtures to the Iranians have typically been described in the United States as naive, commercially self-serving, or both. From an American perspective, it was as if the Europeans were not just dealing with the enemy, but with the devil incarnate. But Europe's soft line toward Iran may soon become United States policy as well. The Europeans might appreciate such a reversal -- if not for the hypocritical way the United States is going about it. Evidence of a such an American about-face came to light late last month. Through unnamed officials, the Clinton Administration let it be known that it would not oppose a planned 2,000-mile pipeline that would carry natural gas from the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan to Turkey through Iran. Although Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was quick to deny that there had been any fundamental shift in policy, one can only wonder about the timing of the leak. This news surfaced in late July, just days before the inauguration of Iran's new president, Mohammed Khatami, who was just as predictably described by the same unnamed Administration officials as a "moderate" with whom the United States might be able to do business. In reality, the United States had been signaling a change in policy for months, all in the dance of veils familiar to Washington observers. First, word circulates that major oil companies with interests in the region have retained the services of several noted foreign policy experts and former officials. Next, these same luminaries publicly decry the "unproductive" nature of American policy toward Iran. The containment strategy, we are told, needs to be rethought. Finally, the usual unnamed Administration officials begin dropping broad hints that such a rethinking is indeed in the works. Rather than taking comfort from the notion that Washington may be moderating its hostility toward Iran, the Europeans have been a bit taken aback by it. They believe the United States is preparing to engage with the Iranians for one and only one reason: Big Oil has something big at stake in Central Asia. Iran has influence with virtually every country in the region. The nations of Central Asia are simply too historically interwoven for it to be otherwise. Obviously, this puts the United States oil giants at a distinct disadvantage in the race to tap the vast energy resources of the former Soviet republics. Little wonder, then, that the Clinton Administration gave a hero's welcome to Azerbaijan's President, Heydar Aliyev, on his recent visit to Washington -- or that business interests eager to unlock oil in the Caspian Sea are working overtime to soften American attitudes toward Iran. Europeans take offense at this sort of double standard. After all, even as hints of a kinder, gentler stance toward Iran surface in the press, European and American negotiators are getting ready to discuss the imperial Helms-Burton legislation, which seeks to enforce American trade sanctions against Cuba by applying them to non-American companies. On the one hand, the United States constantly reminds everyone that under United States law, Iran -- like Cuba -- is economically "untouchable." Yet this policy seems expendable as soon as American interests decide to go after Central Asian oil.
Europeans find it particularly hard to swallow the idea that the entire world should dance to the tune of American domestic politics. European policy makers understand realities well enough to know that as the world's only superpower, the United States plays a paramount role on virtually every issue. But they wonder whether the United States is shortsighted enough to believe that it cannot only tell other nations what to do, but precisely when to do it.
Europeans are bemused to see how easy it is to change American foreign policy. Just have a few political heavyweights prepare the way by endorsing the impending shift. In short, make it sound like a geopolitical strategy adjustment, not a cut-and-dry business transaction. Is it any wonder that more and more people abroad have an uneasy feeling that the United States, for all its achievements, is growing ever more cynical? That suspicion certainly hasn't been contradicted by the Clinton Administration's decision to allow the pipelines through Iran. To many Europeans, it just looks like a way to get Washington's policy out of a trap -- and out of the way of some very powerful business interests.
While the U.S. danced to a different tune, Iran continued to become a major missile power ....
October 26, 1997 Agence France-Press New York Times
Iran today derided attempts in Washington to undercut its arms deals with other countries... Iranian military officials said... that the country had become the strongest "missile power" in the region and announced the manufacture of missiles, planes and missile-launching boats. Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's former President, said .. that Iran possessed long-rang anti-aircraft missiles able to reach into the Persian Gulf ....
While the U.S. became locked into a permanent military presence in Bosnia, Iran continued to become the major disruptive influence there .....
November 28, 1997 The New York Times
Iranian intelligence agents are mounting extensive operations in Bosnia and have infiltrated the U.S. program to train the Bosnian army, according to Western and Bosnian officials. The officials said they had identified more than 200 Iranian agents who they believe have quietly and methodically insinuated themselves into Bosnian Muslim political and social circles. Their aim appears to be both gathering information and thwarting Western interests in Bosnia.... "I don't know why the Americans behave so naively," said Munir Alibabic, the former chief of the Bosnian intelligence service's Sarajevo office. "They should see what is happening to us," ... A senior official in Washington insisted the Iranian intelligence network is not an immediate threat because U.S. agents are watching it closely. ....But Western intelligence officers in Bosnia are much more alarmed. They say many of the Iranian agents are already working to turn Bosnia's Muslim political and religious leaders against the West. The Iranian agents, they said, would be helpful in planning terrorist attacks against NATO forces or targets in Europe. .... Iran has been trying for several years to gain a foothold in Europe through its relationship with the predominantly Muslim leadership of Bosnia. It sold hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons to Bosnia during the war against the Serbs, providing crucial aid at a time when Western nations maintained an embargo on arms sales to any nation in the former Yugoslavia. The Clinton administration learned of the smuggling and decided on a secret policy of not interfering with the arms flow, which helped the beleaguered Bosnians hold off the Serbs. ...Disclosure of the secret U.S. policy after the war set off a political storm in Washington. Some members of Congress charged that the administration had allowed Iran to expand its influence in Bosnia.
Even as the U.S. was denounced in the presence of its Gulf State allies ......
December 10, 1997 The New York Times
Iran opened a world Islamic conference Tuesday with a harsh denunciation of the West, urging Muslim countries to resist what it called "persistent and cunning enemies" led by the United States and Israel. The country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told his guests that the main threat to security in the region was not his own Islamic government, as many in the West assert, but "the poisonous breath" of the United States and its military presence in the Persian Gulf. .... But though Iran's president later offered more conciliatory remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei's inaugural seemed to signal Iran's intention as host of the three-day meeting to drive home a message that Islam itself is under attack. "Today, global arrogance gains hope and strength through creating discord and disunity in this front," the ayatollah said. "Is it not time to bolster and strengthen this rank in our favor?" .... But the 45-minute address by the conservative cleric put on center stage some of the hard-line views that still carry great weight within powerful sectors of Iranian society eight years after the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who inspired the revolution that established Iran as the world's first Islamic republic. To underscore the gravity with which it intended the ayatollah's address to be received, the Iranian government circulated copies of the remarks in glossy pamphlets that included translations from Persian into English, Russian, French and Arabic. In his address, the ayatollah labeled as Iran's most dangerous critics "the Zionists, the notorious global Zionist media, and the agents of arrogance, in particular the Americans." And he complained that "Western materialistic civilization is directing everyone toward materialism while money, gluttony and carnal desires are made the greatest aspirations." President Mohammed Khatami, whose overwhelming victory in elections last spring has helped give Iran a gentler face, later characterized relations between Islam and the West in warmer terms. Khatami, who is also a cleric, said Islamic civil society and its Western counterpart were "not necessarily in conflict and contradiction in all their manifestations and consequences. "This is why we should never be oblivious to judicious acquisition of the positive accomplishments of the Western civil society," Khatami said. But Khamenei has emphasized since the election that it is he, and not the president, who wields control over foreign policy and most other matters of state. And because it was he, rather than Khatami, who chose to inaugurate the conference Tuesday morning, the most powerful impression left by the proceedings was his message of defiance. The ayatollah chose not to single out Arab nations that have diplomatic or commercial ties with Israel. But he condemned American-backed efforts to broker a broader peace between Israel and the Palestinians as "unjust, arrogant, contemptuous and, finally, illogical," and he called them a "losing transaction" for the Palestinians. On a matter closer to Iran's borders, he complained that "the political designers of arrogance" -- a standard euphemism for the United States and its Western allies -- "are breathing their poisonous breath to make our neighbors in the Persian Gulf fearful of Islamic Iran, which holds the banner of unity and brotherhood." As Iran has done before, the ayatollah called on countries bordering the Persian Gulf to band together for self-protection rather than rely on outsiders like the United States.
....its government still saw a silver lining .......
December 15, 1997 The New York Times
President Mohammed Khatami of Iran aimed a conciliatory message at the United States on Sunday, saying that he hoped to re-establish a discussion with the American people that has been virtually suspended since the Islamic revolution of 1979. The tone of Khatami's remarks, his first news conference since he took office in August, was markedly different from that usually heard from Iranian leaders. He declared "great respect" for the "great people of the United States" and even his criticism of the government in Washington, which he said stood in the way of possible reconciliation, was restrained. "I hope the American politicians would understand their time better, understand the realities, and move forward," Khatami said. At the "appropriate" time, he said, "I will present my words to the American people. I would hope for a thoughtful dialogue with the American people and through this thoughtful dialogue we could get closer to peace and security and tranquillity," he added. ...... In Washington, a State Department spokesman, James Foley, cautioned that "it's too early to tell whether this represents an offer or not." He said the United States has been "open to a dialogue" with Iran, but has "stipulated that the dialogue would have to be official and authoritiative, acknowledged publicly by the Iranian government." If such a dialogue occurred, Foley said: "We would certainly be raising with the Iranians our concern about aspects of their foreign policy which are deeply troubling to us, concerning weapons of mass destruction and terrorism and the like. But we are open to a dialogue and would expect they could raise issues of concern to them as well."... "Instead of talking with forked tongues we want to have a rational dialogue," Khatami said. "We want to have a dialogue of civilizations." Khatami's message might help to mute American objections to closer ties with Iran, but there was little in what he had to say that appeared sufficient to allay what have been the United States' principal concerns. He did not address allegations that the Iran is attempting to acquire nuclear weapons, a charge that his country has repeatedly denied in the past. He said Iran was opposed to terrorism, but made an exception for "the legitimate defense of people in occupied land," thus offering an implicit justification of Iran's support for Hezbollah and other militant groups fighting against Israeli occupation.
President Clinton stumbled over the truth about the downing of TWA 800, but then he picked himself up and hurried off in pursuit of economic oil interests as if nothing had happened.