Remarks by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on Iran’s Nuclear Program (Excerpts)

November 18, 2003

SECRETARY POWELL: A short flight, so we'll have a short time for us here. Questions?

QUESTION: May I ask what the U.S. wants to change in the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] resolution, the draft resolution?

SECRETARY POWELL: I haven't seen the latest draft of the resolution and it's being worked in Vienna, it's being worked in Washington, it's being worked in London, Paris and Berlin. And so I don't want to pop an answer, but the resolution draft we saw earlier in the day was just deficient. And I know that even Dr. El Baradei thought it was inadequate to the report that he had prepared. So, there is a lot of debate and discussion going on now about the resolution, but I can't comment on how I would modify it because I don't have it up here with me in its current form.


. . .


QUESTION: Can I go back to Iran and the IAEA for just a second? What was it that was deficient about the draft you saw earlier today, and if you can say, and even if you can't, can you say if it is a demand of yours that"non-compliance" be included in whatever resolution is finally put before the board?

SECRETARY POWELL: There's a lot going on and I don't want to comment on a resolution that is being worked and say what I would accept or not accept, what's in it, what's not in it. There's a lot of discussion taking place. And the resolution that I was aware of, being presented by the "E.U. Three" was not adequate. It did not have trigger mechanisms in the case of further Iranian intransigence or difficulty. Things like that: those are the sorts of issues we're working on. And whether or not we should go for a resolution or if a resolution is totally inadequate, than maybe [we] don't have a resolution right now.


. . .


QUESTION: (Inaudible) John Bolton said that he doesn't do carrots, when talking about Iran.

SECRETARY POWELL: Did John say that today?

QUESTION: Not today, but recently, when talking about Iran.

SECRETARY POWELL: I think an important point is that we have been saying for quite a long time that Iran was not keeping its commitments, and that it had a program that went beyond just power generation, to the development of nuclear weapons. And now the evidence is clear and everybody can see it. A lot of information has come forward. And so we are pleased that Iran seems to be responding to international pressure and trying to meet its obligations.

But this is not something we should be congratulating Iran about. We should be noting it and looking for a way to move forward so that we can deal with this problem in its entirety, once and for all. And, therefore, it is in Iran's interest to come forward. And it should not be in our interest to plead with Iran or in some way say to Iran that, "it is not your obligation, and gee, we will not make it any harder for you." This should be looked at with a realistic point of view, Iran should come into compliance with its obligations, and we want to see everything they've been doing. And we want to be able to satisfy the international community that they have stopped doing anything that would lead to the development of nuclear weapons. If that's what Iran intends,that's what the IAEA expects, that's what we as a member of the IAEA expect, and if Iran does do that we are on our way to a solution. But we should not declare victory before a victory has been achieved on this issue.

All right, we're landing, guys.

MR. BOUCHER: That's really it. Thank you.