|Bush Warns Iran Not to Be Helpful on Iraq
Promises 'Swift Retribution' for Constructive Role
AMID REPORTS THAT Iran is prepared to offer Iraq help with
reconstruction and other forms of economic aid, President George W.
Bush warned Iran today that any helpfulness on its part would be met
with "swift retribution" from the U.S.
Speaking from the White House, Mr. Bush warned Iran not to entertain
any thoughts of being helpful, vowing, "No good deed will go
The president also issued a stern ultimatum directly to Iranian
president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, warning him against "future provocative
offers of help."
"Iran can continue down this dangerous path of helpfulness, or it can
resume its role as an international pariah," Mr. Bush said. "The
choice is clear."
The president appeared bent on isolating Iran to punish it for its
threatened acts of helpfulness, even naming it to what he called "The
Axis of Constructiveness."
In Tehran, President Ahmadinejad seemed almost emboldened by Mr.
Bush's remarks, even taunting the U.S. president with threats of his
own: "Iran will continue to be as helpful as it wants to be, and no
one can make us stop."
On Capitol Hill, congressional leaders worried that Mr. Bush's options
for reining in Iran's recklessly constructive behavior may be limited.
"President Bush might like to threaten Iran with military action if
they persist in being helpful," said Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del). "But
with the U.S. military stretched thin in Iraq, Iran probably feels
that it can be helpful with impunity."
[by Andy Borowitz.]