Monday, June 19, 2006

Bush gives Iran ultimatum on uranium enrichment

President Bush used the occasion of a commencement speech at the US maritime Academy to say to Iran 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 plans to confer with the EU offcials involved in the negotiations.

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 the speech.

Yesterday, 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.

Considering that all Bush asked was that the Iranians stop enriching uranium while negotiations were going on in exchange for the outrageous goodies they're being offered, I'd say that was pushing it a bit.

"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."


Iran, of course, says enriching uranium is its country's right. Iranian officials say they are reviewing the package and will propose amendments. At least, depending on whom you talk to and what day it is.

Stay tuned...

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