Sunday, October 24, 2004

Daily Times - US has no plans to attack Iran, says Powell

Daily Times - Site Edition: "US has no plans to attack Iran, says Powell

NEW YORK: The United States has no plans to attack Iran to thwart what it claims is the Islamic republic’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, but has not formally ruled out any options to deal with the matter, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday.

Instead, Powell told reporters that Washington and its allies were concentrating on a diplomatic and political route to force Iran to abandon the alleged program within the auspices of the UN system.

“I’m not aware of any plans to attack Iran,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of the UN General Assembly.

“I think we’re working in the world of diplomacy and politics,” Mr Powell said, adding that he had found in conversations with foreign officials a consensus that Iran had to meet demands from the UN nuclear watchdog by November or face possible sanctions from the UN Security Council.

“If it doesn’t do that by the time of the November IAEA meeting, I think there will be every reason at that point to send the matter on to the Security Council,” he said.

“We’re talking about diplomacy and political efforts to stop this movement on the part of the Iranians toward a nuclear weapon,” he said. “We’re not talking about strikes. But every option always, of course, remains on the table.” afp"

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