Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Bush to State His Case for Diplomacy

President George W Bush will tonight seek to reassure an anxious world that he is keen, if at all possible, to pursue diplomacy to resolve the crises over the nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea.

In his annual State of the Union address, Mr Bush will make clear that "diplomacy is very much at the forefront" in dealing with the countries, a senior administration official said last night.

"I've noticed many people don't pay attention to the words the president has used," the official said. "He has demonstrated time and time and time again ... that diplomacy is the most effective way to convince Iran that the path they are taking is not the best way to join the community of nations." ...

The address comes after reports that the Pentagon is proposing to revive a controversial programme to build nuclear warheads capable of penetrating hardened underground targets such as Iran's covert nuclear facilities. ...