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Bush Expresses Concern about Iran's Nuclear Program - 2003-05-08

President Bush says he is concerned about Iran's nuclear program. The statement of concern follows a New York Times report Thursday that says U.S. intelligence officials believe Iran may have resumed production of small amounts of plutonium, which could be used for nuclear weapons.

Iranian officials have told the International Atomic Energy Agency that they have nothing to hide because their nuclear program is solely for producing electricity.

The New York Times says the Bush administration is trying to convince the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

President Bush says he is concerned about Iran's nuclear program and is waiting to see next month's report by the IAEA on whether Iran is complying with the treaty.

"Well, I've always expressed my concerns that the Iranians may be developing a nuclear program," he said. "I have done so publicly. I have done so privately. As you may recall, I expressed those concerns to Vladimir Putin when I went to Russia."

Mr. Bush says stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a "major" issue facing the world and one that the United States will continue to lead.

U.S. concerns about Iran's nuclear program center on a uranium-enrichment plant which reportedly contains more than 100 centrifuges used to produce highly enriched uranium, a fuel for nuclear weapons.