President George W. Bush has said he hopes the stand-off with Iran over its nuclear ambitions can be solved through negotiation. He made his comments amid rumours that the White House has already drawn up plans for a military attack. “I am hopeful that we can convince the Iranian regime to give up any ambitions it has in developing a weapons programme, and do so peacefully,” said Bush.
The row over Iran’s enriching of uranium has been dominating the international agenda for many months. Lately the diplomatic war of words appears to be intensifying. France said this weekend that if all else failed war was not unlikely. Iran replied by insisting it had the right to enrich uranium for its energy needs, but added it would use any means necessary to defend itself, and that it had drawn up its own plans for retaliation, based on Israel launching a pre-emptive strike. International sanctions have so far failed to alter Iran’s resolve.