French president Jacques Chirac(R) is welcomed by his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak at the presidential Palace in Cairo. World powers showed divisions over how to halt Iran’s nuclear drive even as the United States claimed growing support for sanctions.
AFP: Chirac, Mubarak urge diplomacy with Iran
French President Jacques Chirac and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak urged nations to pursue diplomacy rather than military force with Iran over its controversial nuclear program.
“We must explore all diplomatic possibilities,” Chirac said at a press conference in Cairo after arriving for a two-day visit during which he was expected to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear ambitions with his counterpart.
Mubarak expressed the same view as Chirac and also warned against the use of military force.
“This question must be resolved through diplomatic and political means, distancing military operations which would have dangerous repercussions in the region,” Mubarak said after meeting with the French president.
AFP: US ‘will do what we have to do’ against Iran
A top US diplomat refused to rule out unilateral action by the United States to curb Iran’s nuclear program but said it would be “best” to work with other countries in doing so.
“We are going to act to deny Iran nuclear weapons capability,” US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told reporters here after two days of talks with other world powers on how to resolve the Iran nuclear impasse.
“We think that the best way forward is to work with other countries and we’ve invested a lot of time in that,” he said.
But he added: “I think we’ve made our view clear in Washington, our administration, and that is that it is absolutely not in our interest or anyone else’s to have Iran with nuclear weapons.
“And so we’re going to do what we have to do to prevent that from occurring.”
AP: Ahmadinejad: Oil Price Is Lower Than Value
Wading into oil politics for the first time, Iran’s hard-line president said Wednesday that crude oil prices â€” now at record levels â€” still are below their true value.
In statements likely to rattle world oil markets, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said developed countries, not producing countries like Iran, are benefiting the most from the current high prices.
“The global oil price has not reached its real value yet. The products derived from crude oil are sold at prices dozens of times higher than those charged by oil-producing countries,” state-run Tehran radio quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
“The developed nations are the biggest beneficiary of the added value of oil products,” he said.
Reuters: Rice says US will use varied means to stop Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday the United States would use political, economic and other measures to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Speaking to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, Rice said the international community agreed Iran could not have a nuclear weapon and was mobilized to respond.
On Tuesday, President George W. Bush refused to rule out nuclear strikes against Iran if diplomacy failed to curb the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions.
“In order to turn the Iranians back from what has been behavior that is contrary to all the wishes of the international community, we are prepared to use measures at our disposal — political, economic, others, to dissuade Iran,” Rice said in reply to a question on Iran.
When asked what the threshold would be for military action against Iran, Rice reiterated that political and economic pressure should run its course. However she stressed the president’s view that all options remained on the table.
Las Vegas Sun: Reid blasts Bush during Reno visit
The Bush administration is relying too heavily on other countries in the international effort to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, according to Sen. Harry Reid.
Reid, D-Nev., said the administration should be taking the lead, but instead is relying on Germany, France and Great Britain to convince Iran to end its uranium enrichment program.
“It is hard to comprehend,” Reid said Tuesday in Reno. “We should be involved at trying to arrive at a diplomatic solution. … Not just these three countries.”
Reid said the Middle East is a “powder keg” because of U.S. failures in Iraq, the rise of fundamentalism and the recent election of Hamas in Palestine.
“Our not being involved diplomatically in trying to solve the situation in Iran shows the Bush failure in foreign policy there and elsewhere.”
And he said the U.S. has no military option in Iran.
“We don’t have the resources to do it” because of the ongoing war in Iraq,” he said.
Everybody is a critic of President Bush and the administration’s negotiating policy towards Iran.
Doesn’t everyone agree that Iran should not develop a nuclear weapon? And doesn’t everyone prefer diplomatic negotiations over a military operation?
Good! Flap knows now we can all get along.
Diplomacy takes time and everyone is a Monday morning quarterback. But, it is the President’s decision and it will be W. who will decide there has been enough negotiation and too little action.
Iran Nuclear Watch Briefings
The Iran Nuclear Watch Files
Technorati Tags: Iran