Arlen Specter 'would meet' Ahmadinejad
Herb Keinon , THE
Senator Arlen Specter, a Republican from
Asked by The Jerusalem Post if he would like to meet the Iranian President, Specter - in Jerusalem for a series of meetings as part of a regional tour -- replied, "You bet I would like to, and give him a piece of my mind."
"I disagree with the policy of not dealing with
"When he [Ahmadinejad] says he wants to wipe
"When he says there was no Holocaust, I'd like to tell him about the Holocaust survivors I've talked to, and about how much evidence there is about the Holocaust. Yes I'd like to see the president of
Specter brushed aside the criticism of his trip to
Specter said that while he acquiesced to the Bush Administration's request not to visit
Regarding what he hoped to achieve by going to
The senior Pennsylvania senator said that while he had a great deal of respect and admiration for US President George W. Bush, there were issues with which he did not agree with the president, and that it was his responsibility "to speak up, and do so in an independent way."
Specter said he did not believe that his visit "alters the issue of legitimacy" regarding Syria, and pointed out that the US talked to the leaders of the Soviet Union even though there was a Cold War for decades, and that the US talked with the Chinese despite disagreements over slave labor.
Specter reiterated what he said in
Specter said that Assad denied that arms were being smuggled into
Asked whether he believed Assad, Specter, who has met with him five times and with his father Hafez Assad nine times, said, "I don't know, I can not make the judgment on that, the Israelis will have to do that."
Specter, who has served in the senate for 26 years, said that the situation in the
"I do not see anyway out except through dialogue," he said. "I do not think there are any assurances that dialogue will succeed, but I think there are assurances that without dialogue there will be failure."