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Bush Urges Iran to Stay Out of Iraqi Affairs - 2003-04-25

President Bush says he hopes Iran will stay out of Iraq, and will not try to gain influence over its Shi'ite Muslim majority. Mr. Bush says the United States will do all it can to encourage Tehran to cooperate.

The president says the United States has been trying to convince Iran not to meddle in neighboring Iraq. "We certainly hope that Iran will allow Iraq to develop into a stable and peaceful society," he said. "We have sent the word to the Iranians that that's what we expect."

During an interview with NBC television, Mr. Bush said he has been discussing the matter with other world leaders. He was asked if Iran's failure to cooperate might result in military action. "Well, no. We just expect them to cooperate, and we will work with the world to encourage [them] to cooperate," he said.

It is an approach similar to the one the Bush administration has employed with some success in its dealings with Syria, which Washington feared might become a haven for ousted leaders of the Iraqi regime.