Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad compared Iran's nuclear program to a train that has no brakes or reverse gear, "because in the past year, we have discarded them," he said. Mr. Ahmadinejad made his remarks after the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has not only failed to halt all uranium enrichment and heavy-water-related activities as demanded by the United Nations Security Council, it has dramatically expanded the program.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Iran's leaders do not need "a reverse gear" for uranium enrichment:
"They need a stop button. They need to stop enriching and reprocessing and then we can sit down and talk about whatever is on Iran's mind."
In December 2006, the United Nations Security Council passed a unanimous resolution under Chapter Seven of the United Nations Charter concerning Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The resolution imposed sanctions on Iran targeting its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Secretary of State Rice says the defiance of Iran's leaders continues to isolate the Iranian people:
"People are looking hard at investment in Iran, at the reputational risk, the investment risk of dealing with a country that is under Chapter Seven status in the international community. It's very rare to be under Chapter Seven. There aren't many countries that are in that U.N. category. And I think that what we're looking to is that people who don't want to endure that kind of isolation will stop, take a deep breath, and give international negotiations a chance by suspending their program."
Secretary of State Rice says that if Iran stops its proliferation sensitive nuclear activities it can "re-enter the international community and. . . .we can discuss any and everything," including trade and political issues, at any time:
"I have no doubt that the Iranian people want to be like other people, capable of carrying out their freedom, of having greater pluralism in their politics. All of that is important."
President Bush, said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has made very clear that the United States is going to continue to advocate for democracy around the world.