President George W. Bush's Remarks on the Possibility of a Nuclear Power Program in Iran (Excerpts)

January 26, 2006

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Q Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning. On the subject of Iran, what parameters might the U.S. be willing to accept Iran having a nuclear power program? And to the extent that you've said in the past that the United States supports the Iranian people, would you support expedited legislation, or a move that would send resources to such groups in Iran that might hasten regime change or democratic reform?

THE PRESIDENT: I have made it clear that I believe that the Iranians should have a civilian nuclear program -- power program under these conditions: that the material used to power the plant would be manufactured in Russia, delivered under IEEE -- IAEA inspections -- inspectors to Iran to be used in that plant, the waste of which will be picked up by the Russians and returned to Russia. I think that is a good plan. The Russians came up with the idea, and I support it.

And the reason why I think it makes sense is because I do believe people ought to be able to be allowed to have civilian nuclear power. However, I don't believe non-transparent regimes that threaten the security of the world should be allowed to gain the technologies necessary to make a weapon. And the Iranians have said, we want a weapon.

And it's not in the world's interest that they have a weapon. And so we are working hard to continue the diplomacy necessary to send a focused message to the Iranian government, and that is, your desires for a weapon are unacceptable. Part of that is -- part of that diplomacy was to provide an acceptable alternative to the Iranian desire to have a civilian nuclear power industry.

And secondly, we will support freedom movements all around the world. I constantly talked about today's reformers will be tomorrow's leaders, and therefore, we will work with groups that demand for people to be given the natural rights of men and women, and that right is to live in a free society.

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