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President Reiterates Diplomacy to Deal With Iran

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2006 – Diplomacy remains America's choice in dealing with Iran, President Bush said today.

"We're forming a strong coalition of like-minded countries that believe that the Iranians should not have a nuclear weapon," he said during a White House press conference. "And I've told the American people that diplomacy is my first choice, and it should be the first choice of every American president in order to solve a very difficult problem."

"It's very important for the Iranians to understand there's a ... common desire by a lot of nations of this world to convince them, peacefully convince them, that they ought to give up their weapons ambitions," Bush said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said today Iran has ignored calls to suspend uranium fuel enrichment and remains in defiance of the U. N. Security Council, according to news reports.

The president distinguished Iran from Iraq. "There are significant differences between Iran and Iraq," Bush said. He noted that Iraq had a history of aggressive acts that included using weapons of mass destruction on its own people, invading its neighbors, and firing at U.S. aircraft.

"Iraq went through 16 different Security Council resolutions," Bush said. "There was resolution after resolution."

To date, the Security Council has not passed a resolution regarding Iran's desire to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly told a rally in northwest Iran today that "those who want to prevent Iranians from obtaining their right, should know that we do not give a damn about such resolutions."

Asked if he thought the Iranian president was someone he could work with, Bush replied: "That's going to be his choice eventually, and it's going to be very important for Mr. Ahmadinejad to recognize the world is united in our desire, and it's his choice to make."

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International Atomic Energy Agency

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