President Bush confronted questions today about the existence of a report saying that Iran had suspended its nuclear program in 2003:
WASHINGTON (AFP) — President George W. Bush said Tuesday that Iran remains a danger and refused to rule out a military attack, despite a US intelligence report saying Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.
“The best diplomacy, effective diplomacy, is one in which all options are on the table,” Bush said one day after the new intelligence assessment which has reopened the international controversy over Iran’s disputed program.
Iran said the US report had vindicated its stance, while UN atomic watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said the document could help defuse tensions though he added that Iran must step up cooperation with his agency.
Bush was adamant. “Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,” he told a White House press conference.
Full article here. Meanwhile, at the summit of Gulf leaders in Doha, Qatar, Ahmadinejad attempted, not altogether effectively, to shore up his ties with Arab States:
DOHA (Reuters) – Iran went on a charm offensive in Qatar on Monday, hailing its debut presence at a summit of Gulf leaders as ushering in a new era of regional ties, but its Arab neighbours offered no immediate matching welcome.
In contrast to lengthy statements to reporters by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, U.S-allied Gulf Arab leaders were yet to react to Iran’s proposals for greater cooperation on economic and security issues at the two-day summit.
Iranian officials deflected questions regarding Gulf input into defusing the crisis over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“This era has changed and the time of threats has ended…Iran has chosen its path and from our point of view the nuclear issue has ended,” Ahmadinejad told reporters, referring to the West’s plans to impose further sanctions on Iran.
See full article here.