Bush: Iran threats on Israel serious

"We are talking about a specific threat on a partner of the US and Germany."

iran nuclear workers 298 (photo credit: AP)
iran nuclear workers 298
(photo credit: AP)
US President George Bush said on Sunday that the world should take seriously the threat by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of destroying Israel. "We are talking about a specific threat on a partner of the US and Germany," Bush said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild. Bush reiterated that he preferred a diplomatic solution but that all options were left open in order to resolve the conflict, including military action. Meanwhile, the Iranian parliament threatened in a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Sunday to force the government to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if the United States continued pressuring Teheran to suspend uranium enrichment. "It's clear that should the UN Secretary General and other members of the UN Security Council fail in their crucial responsibility to resolve differences peacefully, there will be no option for the parliament but to ask the government to withdraw its signature for the Additional Protocol (to NPT that allows intrusive, snap inspections) and review Article 10 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (that outlines the means for signer to the agreement to withdraw)," according to the letter by the lawmakers that was read on state-run radio Sunday. Iran already has stopped snap inspections by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors compliance with the treaty. Also on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi reiterated that there was nothing the international community could do to prompt Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, declaring that "intervention by the Security Council in this issue is completely illegal." Briefing reporters, also said Iran's antagonists over its nuclear program were driven by "political motivations." "Countries sponsoring the draft resolution (Britain, France and the United States) have political motivations," Asefi said. "It's clear that any action by the UN Security Council will leave a negative impact on our cooperation with the IAEA." "Intervention by the UN Security Council would change the path of cooperation to confrontation. We recommend they do not do this," Asefi said. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, was quoted by state radio as reissuing his charge the Iran's opponents were bullying the international community and Iran. "International organizations should not turn into interpreters of few bullying powers... . If that's the case, then there was no need for world nations to pay costs for keeping these organizations and few interpreters would suffice to inform others of these bullying behavior. These organizations must defend countries seeking peaceful nuclear technology and disarm countries possessing weapons of mass destruction," he said. "The UN Security Council should not take any action that it cannot later undo. We won't give up our rights and the issue of suspension (of enrichment) is not on our agenda," Asefi said at his weekly briefing.