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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2007
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EDITORIAL

Begin multinational talks with Tehran

President Bush this week said there is no doubt the Iranian government is providing armor-piercing weapons to kill American soldiers in Iraq. But he backed away from claims that "the top echelon" of Iran's government is responsible.

Many believe Mr. Bush is using the intelligence to justify an attack on Iran. The president denies that.

"Does this mean you're trying to have a pretext for war? No. It means I'm trying to protect our troops," Mr. Bush said Wednesday in his first news conference since he announced the troop buildup in Iraq.

We applaud Mr. Bush's resolve in protecting our soldiers. We are also pleased that he has apparently learned restraint, not jumping to conclusions about the source of the weapons.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is obviously dangerous. He denies the Holocaust. He moves forward with nuclear technology against world opinion. He enjoys inciting anger and controversy in the Middle East and throughout the world.

We learned in elementary school that the best way to deal with a bully is not through confrontation, but by rounding up our friends and trying to talk sense into him. Such an analogy may seem simplistic in the complex world of global politics, but it is nonetheless appropriate.

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