Press Conference with Tony Blair on Iran and the U.N. Security Council

May 12, 2004

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • United States

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Question: Prime Minister, can I ask a question on Iran? Will you end talks with Iran if Iran says it will resume its nuclear activity, and would Britain support immediate referral to the United Nations Security Council?

Prime Minister: Well let's wait and see what actually happens, but we certainly will support referral to the UN Security Council if Iran breaches its undertakings and obligations, and quite how that will come about, we have got to work out with our colleagues and allies, but those international rules are there for a reason and they have got to be adhered to.

. . .

Question: Prime Minister, following up on Iran, when President Bush was in Europe earlier this year, he was asked about the options should Iran be pursuing a nuclear programme, and he said it was ridiculous to think that anybody was contemplating an attack, but then rapidly corrected himself and said but all options remain on the table. Does the option of force remain on the table as far as you are concerned? And a second European question, if I may. Are you now reconciled to leaving office without even making the attempt to take Britain into the single European currency?

Prime Minister: On Iran, what President Bush is saying is perfectly sensible, you can't say you are taking options off the table, but what he went on to say - I think very sensibly too - is that nobody is talking about invasions of Iran or military action against Iran. We have to make sure that this diplomatic process works, and we will fight very hard to do that. And there is no point in speculating on what happens down the line if you reach an impasse, but there are a lot of processes that have to be gone through before you are at that point, not least the Security Council. On the euro, it has only been an ambition of mine if the economic conditions are right, and I do say that anybody here who has talked to me privately, never mind publicly, about this issue will know that I have always said the political case for being part of any part of the European project is in my view overwhelming, and always has been, because it is important that Britain is at the centre of Europe. But this is different in this sense that it is an economic union, and you can't do it unless the economic conditions are in the right place, and they are not at the moment. And as I said in the course of the election campaign, at the moment it is difficult to see in the near future how they are going to come into place, but we keep the option open, there is never any point in closing it off and things can change.

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