Friday, February 18, 2005

Bush Says Iran Using U.S. Refusal as Excuse

Reuters, ABC News:
President Bush said Friday that Iran is trying to use the United States' refusal to join European talks over Tehran's nuclear program as an excuse for not giving up uranium enrichment. He stressed that the United States preferred diplomacy and did not want to use military action against Iran over the nuclear question.

"What they're trying to do is kind of wiggle out. They're trying to say, 'Well, we won't do anything because America is not involved.' Well, America is involved. We're in close consultation with our friends," Bush said. ...

In the ARD interview, Bush insisted that he wants a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the problem and said any talk of a military attack is "just not the truth."

"We want diplomacy to work, and I believe diplomacy can work so long as the Iranians don't divide Europe and the United States. And the common goal is for them not to have a nuclear weapon," Bush told Belgium's VRT television channel.


"First of all you never want a president to say never, but military action is certainly not, is never the president's first choice," Bush said, when asked if he could rule out military action against Iran.

"Diplomacy is always the president's, or at least always my first choice and we've got a common goal, and that is that Iran should not have a nuclear weapon," he said in the interview taped in Washington and broadcast before his arrival in Brussels Sunday for summits with NATO and the EU. ,,,

"We've got a common goal and that is that Iran should not have a nuclear weapon ... I think if we continue to speak with one voice and not let them split us up and keep the pressure on, we can achieve the objective," he said.

"I'm convinced again that if the Iranians hear us loud and clear and without any wavering, that they will make the rational decision," Bush said in an interview with France 3 television. ...