News

Bush Hopeful for Peaceful Resolution of Iran Dispute

President Bush says he still believes diplomacy is the best way to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions.  VOA's Paula Wolfson reports Mr. Bush also makes clear he supports plans to prevent Iran's president from visiting the site of New York's World Trade Center, where thousands were killed by terrorists on September 11, 2001.

President Bush says he remains hopeful the Iran nuclear dispute can be resolved peacefully.

"And to this end we are working with allies and friends to send a consistent message to the Iranians that there is a better way forward for them than isolation - financial isolation and/or economic sanctions," Mr. Bush said.

The United States and its allies say they fear Iran wants nuclear technology to develop weapons.   Tehran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, and its desire is to provide electricity for its people.

The focus has been on diplomacy to resolve the dispute, although the Bush administration has said that the military option is never taken off the table.

Earlier this week, the debate over how best to deal with Iran was rekindled when new French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was quoted as saying the world should prepare for the possibility of war if negotiations fail.  He later downplayed the remarks, saying diplomacy is paramount.

At a wide-ranging White House news conference, President Bush was asked about Kouchner's comments.  He made no mention of military action in his answer and spoke only of diplomatic resolve.

"I believe it is imperative that we continue to work in a multi-lateral fashion to send that message and one place to do so is at the United Nations," Mr. Bush said.

Iran responded angrily to even the mention of military action.  Iranian officials said their country would use any means to defend itself.  They also said Tehran is drawing up a retaliation plan should it come under Israeli attack. 

Mr. Bush noted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has spoken in the past of strikes against Israel, and said his threats should be taken seriously.

"This is a person that constantly talks about the use of force on Israel, for example, and Israel is our very staunch and firm ally," Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Bush made clear he is in firm agreement with a decision by the New York City Police Department to deny a request by the Iranian president to place a wreath at the site of the World Trade Center in memory of the victims of the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

A spokesman for the police force says they denied the request because of ongoing construction and security concerns.  But President Bush indicated there may be emotional reasons as well in a city that suffered so much at the hands of terrorists.

"I would understand why they would not want somebody running a country that is a state sponsor of terror there at the site," Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Ahmadinejad is coming to New York next week to address the U.N. General Assembly.  


 

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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs