Bloomberg: President George W. Bush said that all options remain open regarding Iran and its nuclear program after talks in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
By Catherine Dodge and Edwin Chen
June 11 (Bloomberg) — President George W. Bush said that all options remain open regarding Iran and its nuclear program after talks in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"All options are on the table, and my first choice is to solve this diplomatically," Bush said today at a press conference following talks with Merkel in Meseberg, Germany.
"If they choose to continue to be obstinate, there will be additional sanctions," said Bush, adding that the message to Iran is there's a better way forward for its people than isolation.
Bush, on his farewell trip to Europe, arrived in Germany yesterday and held meetings with Merkel at Schloss Meseberg, a government guesthouse about 70 kilometers (44 miles) north of Berlin. Deterring Iran's nuclear ambitions is the overarching focus of Bush's weeklong trip. He travels to Rome later today and will also make stops in Paris and London.
The U.S. president won backing from the European Union for tighter sanctions against Iran's banks, officials announced yesterday. European Commission President Jose Barroso told Bush that the 27-nation EU's executive branch will take "additional measures" to keep Iranian banks from funding terrorism.
Iran ignored demands to stop producing nuclear fuel and blocked inspectors from looking at documents claiming the government in Tehran researched atomic weapons, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said last month.