News

Bush Says Notion of Attack on Iran 'Ridiculous'

President Bush says the idea that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is, in his words, "ridiculous".  But he says he will not rule out any options. 

Meeting reporters after the 90-minute summit, Mr. Bush said the United States and Europe share a common objective regarding Iran, and that is that the Islamic Republic should not have a nuclear weapon.

Britain, France and Germany have offered technological, political and economic aid to Iran if it scraps its program to enrich uranium.  The United States has reservations about the European strategy, but Mr. Bush has indicated that he is prepared to wait and see what it accomplishes.

When asked whether the United States was contemplating attacking Iran, he replied forcefully.

"This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.  Having said that, all options are on the table," he said.

In the past, Mr. Bush has said that an American president can never rule out the use of military force, adding that it is always the last option.

The Europeans have asked Mr. Bush to back their negotiations with Iran by offering the country security guarantees.  But Mr. Bush has refused to do so, insisting instead that Iran must abandon its uranium enrichment program first.

Earlier, during his visit to NATO headquarters, Mr. Bush addressed another issue that divides the EU from the United States.  The EU has said that it is ready to lift its arms embargo on China, a move Washington fears will alter the strategic balance in Asia.

"There is deep concern in our country that a transfer of weapons would be a transfer of technology to China, which would change the balance of relations between China and Taiwan, and that's of concern," added Mr. Bush.

Mr. Bush says the EU leaders have assured him that they will try to find ways of accommodating U.S. objections.  But he stressed that the Europeans must convince the U.S. Congress, where there is strong support for curbing U.S. sales of advanced military technology to Europe, once the EU arms ban on China is lifted.

Seeking to put U.S.-European differences over the Iraq War behind them, both sides announced that they would be willing to host a conference aimed at rallying international support to rebuild Iraq.  Earlier Tuesday, all of NATO's 26 nations offered symbolic support for a modest NATO training program for Iraqi staff officers.

Mr. Bush's trip to Brussels and his willingness to listen to the Europeans was appreciated by his hosts.  As European Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso put it, Mr. Bush's visit has given new life to the partnership between Europe and the United States.

"I believe that transatlantic relations have turned a corner,” Noted Mr. Barroso.  “A new listening partnership is emerging.  The challenge now is to turn this new spirit into reality and show the world we are able to translate it into concrete results."

Despite the careful choreography, the new tone and the desire on both sides to turn the page, some European officials are still wondering if Mr. Bush means what he says.  They are uncertain if he is inviting them to take part in an agenda pre-determined by the United States or help the United States shape the agenda.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs