Iran Focus: London, Nov. 28 United States President George W. Bush reaffirmed on Tuesday that his administration would only hold direct negotiations with Iran over the security situation in Iraq if Tehran first suspended its uranium enrichment activities. Iran Focus
London, Nov. 28 United States President George W. Bush reaffirmed on Tuesday that his administration would only hold direct negotiations with Iran over the security situation in Iraq if Tehran first suspended its uranium enrichment activities.
As far as the United States goes, Iran knows how to get to the table with us, and that is to do that which they said they would do, which is verifiably suspend their enrichment programs, Bush said in Tallinn at a joint press conference with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
One of the concerns that I have about the Iranian regime is their desire to develop a nuclear weapon, and you ought to be concerned about it, too. The idea of this regime having a nuclear weapon by which they could blackmail the world is unacceptable to free nations. And that’s why we’re working through the United Nations to send a clear message that the EU3 and the United States, Russia and China do not accept their desires to have a nuclear weapon, he told reporters.
There is a better way forward for the Iranian people, and if they would like to be at the table discussing this issue with the United States, I have made it abundantly clear how they can do so, and that is verifiably suspending the enrichment program. And then we’ll be happy to have a dialogue with them.
Bush said that the Iraqi administration was a sovereign government capable of handling its own foreign policies. They’re having talks with their neighbours. And if that’s what they think they ought to do, that’s fine. I hope their talks yield results. One result that Iraq would like to see is for the Iranians to leave them alone. If Iran is going to be involved in their country, they ought to be involved in a constructive way, encouraging peace, he said.
They have made it abundantly clear, and I agree with them, that the Iranians and the Syrians should help, not destabilize this young democracy.
A democracy in the heart of the Middle East is an important part of defeating the radicals and totalitarians that can’t stand the emergence of a democracy.
One of the interesting things that’s taking place — and people have got to understand what’s happening — is when you see a young democracy beginning to emerge in the Middle East, the extremists try to defeat its emergence.
That’s why you see violence in Lebanon. There’s a young democracy in Lebanon, run by Prime Minister Siniora. And that government is being undermined, in my opinion, by extremist forces encouraged out of Syria and Iran. Why? Because a democracy will be a major defeat for those who articulate extremist points of view, Bush said.