- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Support for Hamas likened to Nazi backing

U.S. lawmakers yesterday criticized Europeans for supporting charities linked to Hamas and Hezbollah, with one saying that it was like doing business with the “political wing of the Nazi Party” while rejecting the military wing.

The criticism was leveled at EU counterterrorism coordinator Gijs de Vries as he appeared with American officials at a Capitol Hill review on how well the United States and its allies are working together to fight terrorism.

Rep. Brad Sherman, California Democrat, asked Mr. de Vries: “Would you have thought it acceptable for a European citizen to do business with the political wing of the Nazi Party and divide that separate from the military wing?”


Officials seek verification on blast

SEOUL — South Korean officials said yesterday they were trying to verify North Korea’s statement that a huge explosion last week was caused by the demolition of a mountain for a hydroelectric project.

The blast, which reportedly produced a mushroom cloud two miles across on Thursday, had raised concerns that North Korea might have staged a test explosion of a nuclear bomb. But specialists from the United States and elsewhere said no evidence of an atomic blast had been detected.


Europe, U.S. differ on nuke probe

VIENNA, Austria — A U.S.-European rift surfaced yesterday over how harshly to deal with Iran and its suspected nuclear program, with the Europeans ignoring American suggestions and circulating their own recommendations to other delegates at a key meeting of the U.N. atomic agency.

The United States is demanding that Iran grant agency inspectors “complete, immediate and unrestricted access,” provide “full information” about past illegal nuclear activities, suspend “immediately and fully” uranium enrichment and related activities, and meet all agency demands to “resolve all outstanding issues” nurturing suspicions of a weapons program.

The Americans asked that the draft include an Oct. 31 deadline. The EU text remained vague concerning demands and a time frame, asking only that Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, submit a comprehensive report before November for evaluation by the board.

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