The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina became a rallying cry for African-American religious and political leaders here in U.S. President George W. Bush's former hometown on Sunday, with pleas for charity mixed with a seething anger at the response to the crisis.
In June 1995, U.S. Vice President Al Gore signed a secret agreement with Viktor Chernomyrdin, then the prime minister, calling for an end to all Russian sales of conventional weapons to Iran by the end of 1999. But the deadline passed with no sign of a halt to such sales, despite repeated complaints late last year and this year to senior Russian officials by Gore, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. Moscow continues to be a significant supplier of conventional arms to Tehran despite the Gore-Chernomyrdin deal, the CIA reported in August. The 1995 agreement allowed Moscow to fulfill existing sales contracts for specified weaponry, including a diesel submarine, torpedoes, anti-ship mines and hundreds of tanks and armored personnel carriers. But no other weapons were to be sold to Iran, and all shipments were to have been completed by last Dec. 31.