Reuters: President George W. Bush said on Friday that Iran has “weeks not months” to respond to a U.S.-backed offer aimed at containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and said Tehran needs to suspend uranium enrichment. CAMP DAVID, Maryland (Reuters) – President George W. Bush said on Friday that Iran has “weeks not months” to respond to a U.S.-backed offer aimed at containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and said Tehran needs to suspend uranium enrichment.
At a joint news conference with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Bush said that if Iran does not suspend enrichment, “there must be a consequence.”
“We’ve given the Iranians a limited period of time — you know, weeks not months — to digest a proposal to move forward. And if they choose not to verifiably suspend their program, then there will be action taken in the U.N. Security Council,” Bush said.
Washington has offered to join European talks with Iran if Tehran will verifiably suspend enrichment. That move coincided with presentation of a package of incentives to Iran by major powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — to curb its nuclear program.
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that Iran had this week launched a fresh round of uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for power plants or bombs, just as Solana delivered the package. He did not set any deadline for a response.
European Union president Austria said on Friday Iran has until the Group of Eight (G8) summit in July to consider the incentives offer.
Washington and its allies believe that Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, says its nuclear program is aimed only at producing energy.