1938 Alert from AP:
KINGS POINT, N.Y. – President Bush told Iran on Monday that nations worldwide won’t back down from their demand that Tehran suspend uranium enrichment.
“Iran’s leaders have a clear choice. We hope they will accept our offer and voluntarily suspend these activities so we can work out an agreement that will bring Iran real benefits,” Bush said a day before leaving for Vienna, Austria, where he will talk with European Union officials who are leading efforts to resolve the nuclear dispute.
If Iran’s leaders reject the offer, they will face action before the
U.N. Security Council and progressively stronger political and economic sanctions, Bush said during a commencement speech at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
On Sunday, Iran accused the United States of trying to sway European nations from a possible compromise. The Iranian foreign ministry said U.S. insistence that negotiations be conditioned on Tehran’s suspension of uranium enrichment has narrowed the scope of possible solutions, and made it more difficult for all parties to reach an accord.
Bush made it clear he would not budge. He said allowing Iran to enrich uranium, a process that can make nuclear fuel for a power plant or fissile material for an atomic bomb, would present a grave threat to the world.
“The United States has offered to come to the table with our partners and meet with Iran’s representatives as soon as the Iranian regime fully and verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities,” Bush said. “I have a message for the Iranian regime: America and our partners are united. We have presented a reasonable offer. Iran’s leaders should see our proposal for what it is “” a historic opportunity to set their country on a better course.”