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Bush On Iran's Intransigence

President George W. Bush says the United States is focused on convincing the Iranian government to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions:

"And that focus is based upon our strong desire for there to be peace in the Middle East. And an Iran with a nuclear weapon would be a destabilizing influence."

Mr. Bush says that it is important for the world "to unite with one common voice" and deliver a strong message to the Iranian government:

"That, if you choose to continue forward [with the development of nuclear weapons] you'll be isolated. And one source of isolation would be economic isolation. In other words, there has to be a consequence for their intransigence."

The United Nations Security Council is currently considering a draft resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran's nuclear and missile programs for failing to suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, as the U-N Security Council demanded in Resolution 1696.

Mr. Bush said he hoped that "there are rational people inside the [Iranian] government that recognize isolation is not in their country's interest." He also drew a distinction between the policies of Iran's clerical regime, and the Iranian people:

"I believe the Iranian people want a better way forward. I don't think they want to confront the world. I believe. . . .they could benefit by more trade and more openness with the world. But their leaders have to make the decision."

President Bush says that that the United States remains willing to have a dialogue with the Iranian government. "We said that if you want to have a dialogue with us, we're willing to come to the table with the E-U [European Union], as well as Russia and China, to discuss a way forward," Mr. Bush said. "But first, you must verifiably suspend your enrichment activities."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.