Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Rice Reiterates Military Option On Iran

UPDATE: Check out the new blog covering the Mid East: Outsider On The Inside

While addressing Iran in an interview with Arabic satellite channel Al-Arabiya, U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said President Bush will keep a military option on the table in dealing with their nuclear program:

“The American president will not abandon the military option and I believe that we do not want him to do so,” Rice said in an interview with Al Arabiya television, part of which was broadcast on Tuesday.

Iran is embroiled in a standoff with the West over its nuclear ambitions. The West suspects it is seeking to develop atomic weapons but Teheran says it wants only to generate electricity so that it can export more of its oil and gas.

Rice in remarks dubbed in Arabic said Bush remained ”committed to the diplomatic option. If the world remained strong, there would be a chance for the success of the diplomatic option”.

Two sets of United Nations sanctions have been imposed on Iran since December and major powers have warned a third, tougher resolution might be needed if Teheran did not halt uranium enrichment.

“I say to the Iranians ... there are two options -- isolation and dialogue,” she said.

Analysts say the measures, including arms and financial sanctions, are hurting business and deterring foreign investment in the Islamic state, which despite its oil wealth is struggling with inflation and unemployment.

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