» Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Put to him that President Bush had renewed his threat to Iran yesterday regarding their nuclear ambitions, and whether the Prime Minister could see any circumstances where we would join forces, the PMOS replied that as President Bush had said in his speech yesterday "Iran was not Iraq". Therefore we were in the early stages of diplomacy, and that was what was important. President Bush backed the diplomatic channel, and believed that what was crucial in trying to get a diplomatic solution was that there should be no opening for anyone to divide Europe and the US. We should maximise a collective pressure on Iran. That was what we were doing, and the Prime Minister was a very firm believer in that strategy. What was needed at this stage was that we backed the IAEA in setting the criteria, and making sure they were lived up to and implemented.

Asked if the Government agreed with an article in "Der Spiegel" that the US should join the British, French and German talks with Iran in order to secure objective guarantees from Tehran that it will abandon its nuclear ambitions, and if the US did not get involved, would there be a prospect of any deal otherwise, the PMOS said it was up to the US to talk about its involvement. What was important was that the world sent a clear message to Iran, and nobody could dispute the fact that the message was clear. Following on from President Bush’s comments, there was a support and recognition of the value of what Europe was doing in terms of the diplomatic approach. We needed to ensure that people did not diffuse that pressure by creating differences between the US approach and our approach. We therefore needed to be clear about what we were seeking, and clear about what Iran had to do, and united in pushing for that. That was what the Prime Minister believed was happening.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. I thought that GWB – using "diplomatic language" said

    "Yes we are going to attack Iran if they don’t do as we tell them"

    Comment by Roger Huffadine — 23 Feb 2005 on 1:56 pm | Link

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