Option Of Using
Force Against Iran
14 August, 2005
President Bush said on Israeli television
he could consider using force as a last resort to press Iran to give
up its nuclear programme.
are on the table," Bush, speaking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas,
said in the interview broadcast on Saturday.
Asked if that included
the use of force, Bush replied: "As I say, all options are on the
table. The use of force is the last option for any president and you
know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country."
Iran angered the
European Union and the United States by resuming uranium conversion
at the Isfahan plant last Monday after rejecting an EU offer of political
and economic incentives in return for giving up its nuclear programme.
Tehran says it aims
only to produce electricity and denies Western accusations it is seeking
a nuclear bomb.
Bush made clear
he still hoped for a diplomatic solution, noting that EU powers Britain,
Germany and France had taken the lead in dealing with Iran.
week expressed a willingness to give negotiations on Iran's suspected
nuclear weapons program more time before getting tougher with the country.
"In all these
instances we want diplomacy to work and so we're working feverishly
on the diplomatic route and we'll see if we're successful or not,"
Bush told state-owned Israel Channel One television.
Bush has also previously
said that the United States has not ruled out the possibility of military
strikes. But U.S. officials have played down media speculation earlier
this year they were planning military action against Iran.
French Foreign Minister
Philippe Douste-Blazy said on Friday that negotiations were still possible
with Iran on condition the Iranians suspend their nuclear activities.
The governing board
of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) unanimously called
on Iran on Thursday to halt sensitive atomic work.
the next step would be on September 3 when IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei
reports on Iran's activities.
If Iran continues
to defy global demands, another IAEA meeting will likely be held, where
both Europe and Washington will push for a referral to the U.N. Security
Council for possible sanctions.
© 2005 Reuters