The Bush administration has put the Iranian nuclear problem centre-stage once more. As Iran continues to refuse to give up its nuclear energy capability, US President George Bush has again insisted all options, including a military strike, are being considered.
But he also stressed the importance of talks.
“I have always said that all options are on the table, but the first option for the United States is to solve this problem diplomatically,” Bush said. “I’ve also made it clear that you can’t solve a problem diplomatically unless there are other
people at the table with you and that is why we have been pursuing multilateral diplomacy.”
Iran says it will not bow to threats, issuing a few of its own, but has also echoed support for a negotiated solution.
“If the nature of the offensive takes on a military form, then the military will speak in its own language. Our preference is for diplomatic solutions,” said Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian Foreign Minister.
There have been reports that Israel is planning a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
But Mottaki said he saw a new sort of atmosphere in talks after the EU put forward a package of trade incentives.