Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean had this to say on Monday about how to deal with the nuclear issue in Iran:
Iran is a more complex problem because the problem support as clearly verifiable as it is in North Korea. Also, we have less-fewer levers much the key, I believe, to Iran is pressure through the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union is supplying much of the equipment that Iran, I believe, most likely is using to set itself along the path of developing nuclear weapons. We need to use that leverage with the Soviet Union and it may require us buying the equipment the Soviet Union was ultimately going to sell to Iran to prevent Iran from them developing nuclear weapons.
Not surprisingly the quote is doing the rounds on US blogs, many of whom are asking what the reaction would be if Bush had produced such a similar gaffe.
Is it only a verbal slip-up of no consequence? I’m not sure, I find it hard to take seriously someone who still calls Russia ‘The Soviet Union’ a decade after that state ceased to exist. It does make you wonder how closely he has been paying attention to world affairs.
Also the actual point he is making – best buy weapons off Russia to stop them flogging them to Iran – is hardly a serious WMD policy for someone who wants to be in charge of the biggest power in the world is it?