Wednesday 11 September 2002

US threatens world peace, says Mandela

Did you know that as a congressman Dick Cheney actually voted against a resolution supporting the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.

One of the world's most respected statesmen, Nelson Mandela, has condemned United States intervention in the Middle East as "a threat to world peace".

In an interview with the US magazine, Newsweek published on Wednesday, the former South African president repeated his call for President George Bush not to launch attacks on Iraq.

And Mr Mandela, 84, called some of Mr Bush's senior advisors, including Vice President Dick Cheney "dinosaurs".

He said that the United States' backing for a coup by the Shah of Iran in 1953 had led to that country's Islamic revolution in 1979.

On Afghanistan, Mr Mandela said that US support for the mujahideen (including Osama Bin Laden) against the Soviet Union and its refusal to work with the United Nations after the Soviet withdrawal led to the Taleban taking power.

"If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace," he said.

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