Rumsfeld: war on terrorism needs a Cold War-like solidarity

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld pushed Saturday for unity in the fight against terrorism, telling a meeting of the world's top security officials that "a war has been declared on all of our nations and on our people."

Rumsfeld suggested a lengthy war against terrorism lie ahead, and pushed U.S. allies to increase military spending to defeat the threat of a "global extremist empire" he said terrorists hoped to create.

"The Cold War wasn't won through fate or good luck _ freedom prevailed because our free nations showed resolve when retreat would have been easier, showed courage when concession seemed simpler and more attractive," Rumsfeld said.

Just before the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency voted in Vienna, Austria, to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council, Rumsfeld told the conference that the U.S. stood "with the Iranian people, the women, the young people, who want a peaceful, democratic future," and accused Tehran of sponsoring terrorism.

"The Iranian regime is today the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism," he said. "The world does not want, and must work together to avoid, a nuclear Iran."

Tehran fought back after the IAEA decision, saying it would "immediately" prepare to restart full-scale uranium enrichment and curtail the U.N. nuclear watchdog's inspecting powers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Iran could not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, and pushed Russia and China to join her country, the U.S. and others in putting pressure on Tehran to return to negotiations.

Merkel said Germany's Nazi past also meant it could never tolerate Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments about Israel and the Holocaust, reports AP.

O.Ch.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team