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Bush And Sarkozy On Iran


President George W. Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy agree that nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran’s rulers would pose a dangerous threat to peace. At a news conference in Washington, D.C., President Bush said that he and the French leader have “the desire to work jointly to convince the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear weapons ambitions, for the sake of peace”:

“The idea of Iran having a nuclear weapon is dangerous, and therefore, now is the time for us to work together to diplomatically solve this problem.”

French President Sarkozy said that the Iranian government needs to be convinced to change course:

“It is unacceptable that Iran should have at any point a nuclear weapon. But Iran is entitled to the energy of the future, which is civilian nuclear energy. I believe in the effectiveness of sanctions. I believe even in the need to toughen the sanctions. But in my mind the two go together -- in other words, the open, the outstretched hand of dialogue, of continuing discussions –- because Iran deserves a better fate than that isolation.”

President Bush took the opportunity to address the Iranian people directly:

“I want them [the Iranian people] to hear once again that we discussed your country today; that we believe – that I believe that you’ve got a bright future, that we respect your history and respect your tradition; however, you are governed by people who are making decisions that are isolating you from the rest of the world, and you can do better than that.”

Addressing the regime in Tehran, President Bush said that it is important “to send clear signals to the Iranian government that the free world understands the risks of you trying to end up with a nuclear weapon. And therefore,” said Mr. Bush, “We will work together to try to find if there’s not rational people inside your government who are tired of isolation and who believe there’s a better way forward.”

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