Iran Nuclear NewsBush Says Iran Faces UN Action If It Won't...

Bush Says Iran Faces UN Action If It Won’t End Nuclear Program

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Bloomberg: President George W. Bush said the U.S. and its European allies are prepared to seek sanctions against Iran if the government there rejects a proposal offering economic incentives in exchange for ending nuclear development. “We go to the Security Council if they reject the offer, and I hope they don’t,” Bush said at a news conference today in Washington. Bloomberg

President George W. Bush said the U.S. and its European allies are prepared to seek sanctions against Iran if the government there rejects a proposal offering economic incentives in exchange for ending nuclear development.

“We go to the Security Council if they reject the offer, and I hope they don’t,” Bush said at a news conference today in Washington. “I hope they realize the world is clear about making sure that they don’t end up with a nuclear weapon.”

There still is “a lot of diplomacy” ahead and the western nations are “waiting for an Iranian response,” he said. “We’ve just started this process.”

In a shift of U.S. policy, Bush last week agreed to join France, the U.K. and Germany in offering Iran support for membership in the World Trade Organization and sales of commercial aircraft parts among other incentives to end nuclear development that could be used for weapons. Iran is building a reactor that it says is needed for generating electricity and denies U.S. allegations it’s covertly working on atomic weapons.

Bush said today that U.S. and European leaders view Iran’s assurances with “suspicions” and reiterated demands Iran “abandon enrichment and reprocessing” of uranium.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, speaking in Isfahan, Iran, where members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are meeting, rejected calls from the U.S. and European Union to end the enrichment.

‘Unacceptable’

“Negotiations with the Europeans continue,” Khatami told reporters in Isfahan. “What is unacceptable is the cessation of the nuclear enrichment program.”

In Tehran yesterday, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran, while building “a positive atmosphere” for expanded relations with the U.S., won’t encourage the country give up nuclear development for electric power.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced last week the U.S. would support Iran’s eventual membership in the WTO, a change that would open trade between Iran and the U.S. and other nations. The U.S. also offered to sell parts to Iran for its 1970s-era fleet of Boeing aircraft.

U.S. economic sanctions have slowed Iran’s economic progress. The country, the second-largest oil producer in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, has an official unemployment rate of 16 percent and more than four-fifths of the $110 billion economy is state-run.

A nuclear armed Iran “would create incredible instability, it wouldn’t be good for world peace,” Bush said today.

“Iran has concealed a nuclear program that became discovered not because of their compliance with” international inspections, the president said. “A dissident group pointed it out to the world, which raised suspicions about the intentions of the program.”

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