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Iraqi President Shares Views on Terrorism Threat, Security

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani responds to a leaked U.S. intelligence report that says the Iraqi war is increasing the threat of terrorism. He also discusses security in Baghdad and the future of Iraqi politics.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    And as I said, we now get a second and different opinion on that intelligence estimate, and it comes in this Newsmaker interview with the president of Iraq, Jalal Talabani. Ray Suarez talked with him this morning at his hotel in Washington.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Mr. President, welcome back to the program.

    JALAL TALABANI, President of Iraq: Thank you.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Have you heard about this report? And what do you think of its conclusions?

  • JALAL TALABANI:

    I don't agree with this. I don't agree at all. I think the liberation of Iraq reduced the danger of terrorism on the United States of America because all terrorist groups are now concentrating on Iraq, focusing in Iraq, sending their troops to Iraq, busy with Iraq; otherwise they're concentrating their efforts against the United States of America.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    So it made America safer, but it made Iraq more dangerous?

  • JALAL TALABANI:

    Well, it made America safer, and it make Iraq as a country struggling for peace and democracy in the Middle East under the threat of terrorism. But it was something normal. After the collapse of a dictatorship, which was in a good relation with terrorism, the international terrorism lost a big friend in Iraq, with Iraqi dictatorship.

    They came to revenge and concentrate in Iraq, preventing the progress of Iraqi democracy, preventing the democratic process of the Iraqi people, which will be a great danger on terrorism all over the area.

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