In his pre-vacation news conference George Bush warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against relying on Iran. Responding to a question regarding Maliki's trip to Iran (he visited both Tehran and Mashad; the latter city to meet with Ayatollah Khamenei) and his comments about Tehran's work in "providing security and fighting terrorism in Iraq,"Bush said, “If the signal is that Iran is constructive, I will have to have a heart to heart with my friend, the prime minister, because I don't believe they are constructive.”
“My message to him is, when we catch you playing a non-constructive role, there will be a price to pay," Bush said in remarks which had to be corrected immediately after the news conference by the US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe who said the "price to pay" remark by Bush was directed at Iran.
Obviously flustered by the back to up back support Iran has received from two key American allies, Hamid Karzai and Nuri al-Maliki, Bush corrected his previous charge about Iran’s proclaimed intentions to acquire nuclear weapons but insisted on identifying Iran as very “troubling nation.” He also revealed that America’s Iran policy is designed to squeeze the people of Iran economically:
… should the American people be concerned about Iran. Yea we ought to be very concerned about Iran. They are a destabilizing influence. They are a government that's declared policy is very troubling obviously when they have announced, when Ahmadinejad has announced the destruction of Israel as part of his foreign policy. That’s something obviously we cannot live with.
They have expressed their desire to be able to enrich uranium which we believe is a step toward having a nuclear weapons program. That in itself coupled with their stated foreign policy is very dangerous for world stability They are funders of Hezbollah. Hezbollah is intent upon you know battling forces of moderation. And so it is a very troubling nation right now.
Iran can do better. The government is isolating its people. The government has caused America and other nations, rational nations, to say we will work together to do everything we can to deny you economic opportunity because of the decisions you are making.
My message to the Iranian people is that you can do better than this current government. You don’t have to be isolated. You don’t have to be in a position where you can’t realize your full economic potential, and the United States of America will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Security Council and elsewhere to put you in a position, to deny you your rightful place in the world, not because of our intention but because of your government’s intention.
So the bottom line, it seems, is that the Bush administration's now publicly acknowledged policy is to hold the people of Iran hostage economically ("to deny you your rightful place in the world" and "to deny you economic opportunity") because of their government. Note that Bush's direct message to the Iranian people does not end with the misdeeds of the Iranian government that can be changed. His words are that “you can do better than this current government.” And what if the Iranian people cannot? Well, they obviously have to pay for their misfortune.
Just imagine what the Iranian government and its Ministry of Intelligence which just a couple of days ago warned Iranian citizens about the multiple ways the American government is trying to cause political and economic instability and insecurity in Iran will do with these words.