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Bush On Countering Iran's Threat

At a press conference in Washington, D.C., President George W. Bush said he is convinced that the Iranian government is seeking to acquire the ability to make nuclear weapons:

“And I know it’s in the world’s interest to prevent them from doing so. I believe. . . .if Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would be a dangerous threat to world peace. We’ve got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

The United States has been leading an effort to prevent Iran from using the international financial system to fund its nuclear weapons program and terrorist activity. In addition, said Mr. Bush, the U.S. will keep working with other nations to isolate Iran:

“The whole strategy is that at some point in time, leaders or responsible folks inside of Iran may get tired of isolation and say, ‘This isn’t worth it.’ And to me, it’s worth the effort to keep the pressure on this government.”

President Bush said, “It’s important for the Iranian people to know we harbor no resentment to them”:

“We’re disappointed in the Iranian government’s actions, as should they [the Iranian people] be. Inflation is way too high; isolation is causing economic pain. This is a country that has got a much better future, people. . . .should have better hope inside Iran than this current government is providing them.”

Meanwhile, the incentives package first offered to Iran in June 2006 by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – the so-called P5+1 – remains on the table. If Tehran agrees to suspend its proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and abide by international nuclear obligations, Iran will receive assistance in its use of civil nuclear energy, as well as in other fields, including transportation, medicine, and trade.