Press Conference with Tony Blair on Iran's Obligation to Comply with International Law and Regulations (Excerpts)

October 25, 2004

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

The Prime Minister has outlined the government's law and order agenda in his monthly press conference.

. . .

QUESTION: Given that Iran is Opec's second largest oil exporter and that we and the Americans need that oil to drive our cars, how much pressure can we really put on the Iranians over their nuclear programme?

PRIME MINISTER: Well we can put proper pressure through the international body, which is the Atomic Energy Authority, and the Iranians have been given certain measures they have to comply with and they have got to comply with it, because the one thing we do not want is an Iran with a nuclear weapons capability, for sure.

QUESTION: Why are you scared of meeting Rose Gentle?

PRIME MINISTER: I am not, but I have made it clear how I think this should be dealt with, and I think it is best to deal with it in that way.

QUESTION: You are saying that the last thing you want is Iran with a nuclear weapons capability. Iran has rejected the latest joint proposal by Britain, France and Germany to end its uranium enrichment programme. The United States has wanted more robust action, it now looks as though dialogue is not going to bring about the kind of result you would like to see. If there is some future military action by a future US administration, would you be prepared in any circumstances to join in that, both in Iran and perhaps in Syria, classed by the United State as a sponsor of terrorism but now the subject of an association agreement with the EU.

PRIME MINISTER: I don't know anyone who is talking about military action in Iran, or Syria. But what we are insisting on, quite rightly, is that there is a proper obligation on the Iranians to comply with international law and regulations laid down by the appropriate body - the Atomic Energy Authority. Now I don't think dialogue has been exhausted on this at all, but we do need the Iranians to understand that the international community does not find it acceptable that they develop nuclear weapons.