Prepared Testimony by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing: Iran, Security Threats and U.S. Policy

October 28, 2003

Iran is a country in the midst of a tremendous transformation, and I believe American policy can affect the direction Iran will take. This is a complex situation, but if you will allow a simplification: today in Iran, there is a struggle between destructive elements of Iran s society and leadership, who want to keep the country mired in a violent, corrupt, and insular past, and a forward-looking popular movement, which wants a more engaged and modern Iran to emerge. The fact that the Nobel Peace Prize was just awarded to an Iranian citizen is no aberration; rather it is a sign of the sweeping desire for change across Iranian society. Indeed, all Iranians stand to benefit from a modern state, one that draws on the strengths of free minds and free markets. American and international security and well being also stand to benefit. United States policy is, therefore, to support the Iranian people in their aspirations for a democratic, prosperous country that is a trusted member of the international community.