President George W. Bush says Iran’s nuclear program remains a matter of “deep concern”:
“We believe that Iran had a secret military weapons program. And Iran must explain to the world why they had a program. Iran has an obligation to explain to the I-A-E-A [the International Atomic Energy Agency] why they hid this program from them.”
Mr. Bush’s statement came after the publication of a U-S intelligence report that said Iran had been working on a clandestine nuclear weapons program for many years. The report assessed that Tehran decided to suspend its active weaponization efforts in 2003 due to international pressure and scrutiny. The report also stressed, however, that Iran was now actively pursuing uranium enrichment. Enriched uranium can be used to produce the fissile material for a nuclear bomb, as well as nuclear energy.
The United Nations Security Council has demanded that Iran halt its sensitive nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment and reprocessing, though it recognizes Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear energy program. The U-N Security Council has passed two resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran for its refusal to comply with its legally binding nuclear obligations under the Non-proliferation Treaty. The five permanent members of the Security Council along with Germany – the so-called P-five plus one -- are involved in discussions of a third resolution. The United States government remains committed to a diplomatic solution to end Iran’s sensitive nuclear pursuits.
President Bush says, “The world must understand, Iran was dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if we can’t stop their ability to enrich uranium. Because a country that had a weapons program, can start a weapons program up again, particularly in a non-transparent society, without the world knowing about it.”