WASHINGTON, May 25 (Reuters) – President George W. Bush said on Thursday he would consider providing incentives to Iran if it agreed to abandon nuclear enrichment activities that the United States believes is aimed at producing a nuclear bomb.
Bush called a recent letter from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — the first publicly announced official Tehran-Washington communication since the 1979 Islamic revolution — “interesting.”
But Bush, at a White House news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, stressed that the Iranian leader “didn’t address the issue of whether or not they’re going to continue to press for a nuclear weapon. That’s the issue at hand.”…
Bush said he and Blair spent a lot of time discussing strategy on the nuclear crisis and how to persuade partners like Russia that the issue must be acted on by the U.N. Security Council if Iran remains defiant.
“The Iranians walked away from the table. They’re the ones who made the decision, and the choice is theirs. If they would like to see an enhanced package, the first thing they’ve got to do is suspend their operations, for the good of the world,” Bush said.
Meanwhile, “we’ve got to continue to work to convince them that we’re serious, that if they want to be isolated from the world, we will work to … achieve that,” Bush said….
The package would offer Iran a light-water reactor, nuclear fuel from abroad, a regional security dialogue that includes the United States and other inducements if Iran abandons weapons-related activities, diplomats said.