Bush: Iran still a threat
The fiercest rhetoric came from the U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who said that to stop putting pressure on Iran in light of the report would be a big mistake. President Bush said that far from allaying fears, the report called for greater caution.
“And so I view this report as a warning signal. They had the programme. They halted the programme. And the reason why it's a warning signal is that they could restart it,” Bush said.
Meanwhile, arriving back in Tehran after talks in Moscow Iran’s Сhief Nuclear Negotiator, Saeed Jalili, dismissed the U.S. insistence the threat is still real.
“In the report they said that Iran's nuclear activity was peaceful after 2003. I hope they say in their next report that all Iran's activity has been peaceful since the beginning,” he said.
Despite signs of a turnaround, the latest U.S. report has brought the continuing international wrangling over Iran back into the spotlight.
Moscow remains wary of tougher measures. President Putin praised the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency, an organisation often criticised for being too soft in its approach to Iran.
“We expect that all your nuclear programmes will be transparent and under the control of this respected organisation,” Putin said to Jalili.
And on Wednesday,
For Europeans, the report strengthened the argument for negotiations. However, with Iran still enriching uranium for uncertain ends, officials refused to rule out further sanctions.
“We must join together to work our way out of this crisis and to implement the resolution of the Security Council and control nuclear weapons,” said Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France.
But the issue is not clear cut – the report says Iran could make nuclear weapons by 2015. The international community is not ready to give up the fight to stop such a development.
And RT's military analyst Evgeny Khrushchev says the new intelligence report will not change the main thrust of Washington's policy towards Iran, which is regime change.
“The major problem is that nothing that intelligence professionals put on the table will make any difference. Because President Bush is not intimidated by facts, reality, the complexity of the world or shifting dynamics. His attitude is simple: If he thinks Iran is dangerous, then nothing should confuse him,” Evgeny Khrushchev said.