President George W. Bush says diplomacy is the first and most important option in dealing with the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Bush spoke the day after Iran’s President sent him an 18-page letter criticising US policy. But the missive met with a cool reception from US officials, who dismissed it as a move to divert attention and say they will not be making a written reply.
“The first choice, and a choice that will work with the Iranians, is diplomacy. Any diplomatic effort must have a common goal and the common goal here is the Iranians should not have a nuclear weapon or the capacity to make a nuclear weapon,” said Bush. Foreign ministers from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany have yet to agree on a common strategy to deal with the issue.
Iran insists that it is within its rights to enrich uranium to produce electricity for domestic consumption. But the West fears that Tehran could be gearing up to produce nuclear weapons. Iran’s parliament has threatened to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if international pressure continues to grow.