Iran General NewsIn Europe, Bush Takes Tough Stance on Iran

In Europe, Bush Takes Tough Stance on Iran

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Reuters: President Bush insisted on Monday that Iran cut off support for terrorism and disavow nuclear weapons — and stressed that no response could ever be ruled out. “In safeguarding the security of free nations no option can be taken permanently off the table,” Bush said in a speech on his first trip to Europe since his re-inauguration last month. Reuters

BRUSSELS – President Bush insisted on Monday that Iran cut off support for terrorism and disavow nuclear weapons — and stressed that no response could ever be ruled out.

“In safeguarding the security of free nations no option can be taken permanently off the table,” Bush said in a speech on his first trip to Europe since his re-inauguration last month.

Washington and the 25-nation European Union both want Tehran to scrap uranium enrichment, a process which can be used to make fuel for nuclear power plants or bomb-grade material.

But the United States has refused to join an initiative by the European Union — represented by France, Germany and Britain — to offer Iran incentives to curtail its nuclear program.

“In Iran the free world shares a common goal for the sake of peace. The Iranian regime must end its support for terrorism and must not develop nuclear weapons,” Bush said in the speech.

Bush distinguished between Iran and Iraq, which his country invaded at the head of a military coalition in 2003.

“Iran however is different from Iraq,” he said. “We are in the early stages of diplomacy.”

He added: “We are working closely with Britain, France and Germany as they oppose Iran’s nuclear ambitions and as they insist that Tehran comply with international law. The results of this approach now depend largely on Iran.”

Iran reiterated on Monday that it would not bow to U.S. and European demands that it abandon uranium enrichment, stressing that its nuclear capability was “not for sale.” Tehran insists its nuclear ambitions are strictly peaceful.

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