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6/30/03 - U-S, E-U ON IRAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM - 2003-07-01

The United States and the European Union are working to stop the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. At a White House summit meeting with E-U leaders, President George W. Bush said the U.S. and E-U agreed to seek stronger export controls on materials that can be used to make such weapons. The U.S. and E-U are also looking at new methods, including interdiction, to stop the illicit trade in weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Bush said the U.S. and E-U are especially concerned about Iran’s nuclear program:

“The recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency clearly describes Iran’s failure to meet its obligations to the world and to provide access for agency officials. America and the E-U agree that Iran must cooperate fully with the I-A-E-A. We agree that Iran must sign and comply with an additional protocol giving the I-A-E-A new tools to investigate clandestine nuclear weapons activities. Iran has pledged not to develop nuclear weapons, and the entire international community must hold that regime to its commitments.”

According to a report by I-A-E-A Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, Iran failed to report its processing, use, and storage of nuclear materials, as required by its safeguards agreement with the I-A-E-A. In 1991, Iran imported two tons of uranium compounds without reporting it. Later, Iran covertly processed some of that uranium. These were clear violations of Iran’s agreement with the I-A-E-A. The I-A-E-A is currently investigating those safeguards failures and other concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

The danger of a nuclear-armed Iran should be clear to all. The extremist Muslim clerical regime in Tehran is already the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism. For many years, Iran has supported such terrorist groups as Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. There are also reports that Iran has harbored members of al-Qaida, the terrorist group that attacked America on September 11th, 2001, killing three-thousand people from more than eighty countries.

As President Bush said, the free world expects Iranian officials to cooperate with inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency. “And if they don’t,” he said, “we’ll deal with that.”