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Bush And Brown On Iran

At a press conference at the White House, U.S. President George Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed that further measures must be taken to prevent the Iranian government from mastering the technology necessary to build nuclear weapons. President Bush explained why the United Nations Security Council has insisted that Iran stop enriching uranium:

"If they [Iranian regime leaders] learn how to enrich, it is knowledge which can be used to develop a nuclear weapon. They claim that they have got a civilian program in place – [that] this is only for civilian purposes. If that’s the case, why did they have a secret program?. . . They have proven themselves to be untrustworthy."

President Bush said it is "naïve" to think that that the knowledge the Iranian government would acquire if it mastered the nuclear fuel cycle "couldn’t be transferred to a military program":

"And that is why the United States, in working with Britain and France and Germany and the United Nations Security council, is all aiming to say to the Iranians: verifiably suspend your program and there’s a better way forward for you."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that he makes no apologies about working to extend sanctions against Iran:

"Iran is in breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has not told the truth to the international community about what its plans are. And that’s why I’m talking to other European leaders about how we can extend European sanctions against Iran over the next period of time, and to ensure that what sanctions are taken are effectively implemented, and to monitor the effect on the Iranian regime where we see high inflation in Iran, and that is not properly disclosed by the regime, and the effect that sanctions are actually beginning to have on that country."

President Bush says that international efforts to induce the Iranian regime to change course are ongoing. "We’re going to work together ... to make it abundantly clear to the Iranian regime that they must not have the capability of developing a nuclear weapon. ... Now is the time to confront the threat," said Mr. Bush, "and I believe we can solve the problem diplomatically."