Morning Press Briefing by the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (Excerpts)

February 26, 2007

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

. . .

Asked what was the UK hoping to get out of the talks about Iran, the PMOS said that today was more a preliminary exercise in terms of establishing where people were. Clearly, the report to the UN was worrying and concerning, and clearly, people wanted to take further action. We needed to work out how we did that. What Iran should not in any way do was to make any mistake about the unity of the international community in opposition to its continuing flaunting of what the UN had said its obligations were. Iran should not in any way mistake the fact that discussions were taking place as any weakening of resolve. It was quite the reverse.

Put that the Prime Minister had said that he was not aware of any preparations by the US for military strikes on Iran, so what was our reaction to the "New Yorker" report that suggestions that that had taken place, the PMOS replied that the "New Yorker" did not establish American policy; rather, the US Government did. It was against the Prime Minister's knowledge of US Government's intentions that he spoke last week.

Asked how the Prime Minister would respond to the Iran President's comments yesterday when he described their nuclear programme as a "train with no brakes and no reverse gear", the PMOS replied that the danger with all of this was that we put what the Iranian Government was doing up against either this country's views or the US's views. This was international opinion, worldwide, as expressed through the UN which said that Iran was in defiance of its international obligations. The PMOS said that it was the world community that Iran had to answer to, not one or two individual countries. Unfortunately, the President did not seem to be wiling to do so.

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