Daily Press Briefing for September 28, 2005 - IRAN - Transcript - Sean McCormack, Spokesman - Washington, DC

QUESTION: What's your reaction to the protests in Iran around the British Embassy? This is a reaction to the IAEA vote, I presume, were there to be a U.S. embassy, they would be protesting there.

MR. MCCORMACK: Right. Well, I'll leave it to those on the ground to describe the protests there and who might be organizing those protests. The position where Iran finds itself right now, I think, is one that is probably a surprise to them after the IAEA Board of Governors vote. And where they find themselves is more isolated from the international community than when they started. And I think you can really trace back the point at which they started to further isolate themselves in the most recent sense to the Iranian President's speech before the General Assembly and their failure to field any ground whatsoever in the run-up to the Board of Governors' vote. The EU-3 as well as other members of the Board of Governors urged the Iranians to return to the negotiating table, to cooperate with the IAEA, to answer those outstanding questions that the international community has regarding Iran's nuclear programs and what we say is their pursuit of nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. So what we have now is a statement of finding of noncompliance of Iran with their international obligations. Iran now has an opportunity. They have an opportunity in the coming days, weeks and months to return to the negotiations with the EU-3, engage in those negotiations in a constructive manner and also to cooperate with the IAEA. There will be a report from the IAEA to the Security Council and what is in that report, describing Iran's actions and the state of the cooperation with the international community will be up to Iran. We'll see if they decide to cooperate. We'll see if they decide to return to negotiations. But what the Iranian Government heard was a very clear message from the international community and that message was that the international community does not want Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. That would be a destabilizing action and they also made it very clear they don't think that Iran should have -- because of its past behavior, access to sensitive nuclear fuel cycles. So we'll see. We'll see what the coming days and weeks brings, but it really is up to Iran in terms of their actions and what they do and what is contained in that report to the Security Council. Yes.

QUESTION: You are not afraid that Iran could radicalize its position and leave or stop cooperating with the IAEA altogether?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, what we've seen is that the defiant Iranian attitudes towards the international community has gotten to the point where they find themselves now, and that is further isolated than when they began. They were in negotiations with the EU-3. The EU-3 was engaged in those negotiations in good faith, trying to resolve the issue. And that issue concerns Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, so we'll see what Iran -- what actions Iran does and what attitude that they have. But I think that what the international community has seen through this speech at the United Nations, as well as in its subsequent actions, is really the true face of this new government and so we'll see. We'll see what Iran does in the coming days and weeks. We urge them to return to the negotiating table and to negotiate with the IAEA and to cooperate with the IAEA.

QUESTION: The situation here is that being cornered may contribute to a situation where they strike out even more radically than they would have otherwise. For instance, they're threatening to proceed with enrichment of uranium. And yesterday a former top State Department official has said that there's some belief within the administration they've actually begun that, buying technology around the world. Aren't you concerned that if cornered, Iran might be even more dangerous? I don't want to draw parallels, you know, too soon, but you know, you've begun to speak soothingly to North Korea and stopped beating on their heads and -- I mean, the State Department -- and maybe it paid dividends, maybe it didn't. I think the suggestion or the question -- (inaudible) the same thought, is isn't there some concern here that Iran is being cornered and isolated? Doesn't that have a bad -- couldn't that have bad results?




  • Daily Press Briefing for September 28, 2005 - IRAN - Transcript - Sean McCormack, Spokesman - Washington, DC

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