Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Bush says Iran will not get nukes -DAWN - Top Stories; 27 September, 2004

Bush says Iran will not get nukes -DAWN - Top Stories; 27 September, 2004: "Bush says Iran will not get nukes

CRAWFORD, Sept 26: US President George W. Bush says "all options are on the table" for making sure Iran dismantles its nuclear programme, and that Washington will never let Tehran acquire atomic weapons.

"My hope is that we can solve this diplomatically," Bush said in a three-part interview with Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" programme, excerpts of which were made public on Sunday.

"Let me try to solve it diplomatically first," said Mr Bush. "All options are on the table, of course, in any situation. But diplomacy is the first option." The Bush administration has charged that Iran does not need a civilian nuclear programme for energy and that Tehran is actually seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Asked whether the United States would let Iran develop that capability, Mr Bush replied: "No, we've made it clear, our position is that they won't have a nuclear weapon."

"We are working our hearts out so that they don't develop a nuclear weapon, and the best way to do so is to continue to keep international pressure on them," the president said.

IRAN'S STAND: Iran called on Sunday for a negotiated settlement to its stand off with the UN atomic energy watchdog but showed no inclination to abide by a resolution calling for an immediate halt to its sensitive nuclear activities.

"No negotiations with the Americans are on the agenda, but we call on the Europeans to discuss with us," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters."

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