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Israel, U.S. React to Continuing Iranian Uranium Enrichment

Israeli officials met Thursday night and U.S. President George W. Bush had harsh words for Iran’s defiance to comply with the United Nations Security Council deadline to cease nuclear development.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 8/31/2006, 6:53 PM / Last Update: 8/31/2006, 9:16 PM

The United States called for the sanctions threatened by the U.N. Security Council earlier in the year to be imposed on Iran as the deadline ran out. “It is time for Iran to make a choice,” said United States President George W. Bush.

Speaking at an American Legion veterans’ conference, President Bush said “We’ve made our choice. We will continue to work closely with our allies to find a diplomatic solution, but there must be consequences for Iran’s defiance. We must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.”

There was dissention among the ranks of the U.N, with most other member nations reluctant to commit to the course they threatened months ago.

The European Union continues to maintain that only through diplomatic relations will Iran be persuaded to end its race toward nuclear energy. Russia and China have also expressed reservations about imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.


President Ahmadinejad reiterated earlier in the week that the country’s “lofty program” would continue, ignoring the U.S.-led threats of international sanctions.

In response, Bush said, "We know the depth of suffering that Iran's sponsorship of terrorists has brought. And we can imagine how much worse it would be if Iran were allowed to acquire nuclear weapons."

Ahmadinejad has consistently said Iran’s uranium enrichment program is intended to produce nuclear energy solely for domestic purposes. Opposition factions in the country, however, maintain the goal is quite different, and IAEA inspectors have agreed.

The IAEA officials have continued to warn that some nuclear activities in Iran have nothing to do with domestic use. This includes the detection of experimentation with polonium-210, a substance used only in deep-space exploration and production of nuclear weapons. Iran does not have a deep space program.