- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Pressure Syria, Iran
Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon called yesterday for the use of "psychological pressure" to force regime change in Syria and Iran, two nations the United States accuses of sponsoring terrorism.
Mr. Ayalon welcomed the defeat of Saddam Hussein but added that the overthrow of the Iraqi dictator was "not enough."
"We still have great threats … coming from Syria, coming from Iran," Mr. Ayalon told the Anti-Defamation League.
"I certainly do not see any aggressive military campaign. I don't think that would be the right thing. Nobody is suggesting that."
He called on world leaders to apply economic sanctions on the two countries and refuse visas to Syrian and Iranian officials.
Mr. Ayalon criticized the European Union for commercial links to Iran.
"I don't think this is the way to deal with them because the more the regime is isolated, the shorter its days," he said.
"The important thing is to show [international] political unity, and this is the key element to pressure the Iranians into a regime change and the same case is with the Syrians," he said. "So this is the direction a lot of psychological pressure."
Singapore hails victory
The swift victory over Saddam Hussein had a "chastening effect" on terrorists in Southeast Asia and bolstered the position of moderate Muslims, a Singapore official said yesterday.
"The price in blood and treasure by the American people will help to bring about a safer world and a new sense of hope among Muslims," said Trade and Industry Minister George Yeo. "I doubt if any other country would ever take upon itself such a difficult historic mission."
Mr. Yeo told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington that his country supported the U.S.-led war in Iraq because "U.S. leadership is indispensable in the world today, especially in the war against global terrorism."
"If Saddam Hussein could thumb his nose at the United States, other rogue governments and organizations would have been encouraged to create mischief as well," he said.
"The quick U.S. victory in Iraq has had a chastening effect on [terrorists]. In Southeast Asia, the rejoicing in Baghdad took the wind out of the sails of Muslim extremists, although a few in bitter anger might be tempted to join terrorists organizations.
"For the time being, the position of moderate Muslims has generally been bolstered, although the mood remains somber. A lot depends on how the United States handles post-war Iraq."
Mr. Yeo said he is encouraged that President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have repeatedly said a new government will reflect the will of the Iraqi people.
Mr. Yeo added that he was not surprised by the "failure of the Western alliance to unite" over the need to remove Saddam. He also noted that large Muslim populations may have motivated France and Germany into leading the opposition to the United States.
"The Western alliance was the response to a common Soviet threat. … With the disappearance of that common enemy, it is not surprising that fissures should appear. …
"Historically nations are held together by common fear rather than by love or gratitude."
Return to Indonesia
The families of U.S. diplomats can return to Indonesia, the scene of a terrorist bombing six months ago on the resort island of Bali.
The U.S. Embassy in the capital, Jakarta, decided that security has improved on the island nation since families were evacuated after the Oct. 12 attack that killed 202 persons, mostly Western tourists. Officials blamed the attack on the Islamic terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiya, which is linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
"The Indonesian government has made commendable progress in arresting the Bali terrorists and solving a string of terrorist attacks over the last several years," an embassy spokesman told reporters.
Indonesian authorities have arrested 32 suspects in connection with the bombing.
U.S. Ambassador Ralph Boyce announced his decision to allow the return of families on Friday. They are expected to being arriving this week.
The State Department on April 10 allowed the return of embassy employees who had been evacuated.


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