The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 4, 2006

President's Statement on IAEA Board Vote to Report Iran to U.N. Security Council

Today in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors voted to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council. This important step sends a clear message to the regime in Iran that the world will not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons.

The Security Council will now address the IAEA Board's finding of "Iran's many failures and breaches of its obligations to comply" with its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement. We expect the Security Council to add its weight to the IAEA Board's calls for the Iranian regime to: return to the Paris Agreement suspending all enrichment and reprocessing activity; cooperate fully with the IAEA; and return to negotiations with the EU-3 of Great Britain, France, and Germany. Those steps are necessary for the regime to begin to restore any confidence that it is not seeking nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian program.

Today's vote by the IAEA Board is not the end of diplomacy or the IAEA's role. Instead, it is the beginning of an intensified diplomatic effort to prevent the Iranian regime from developing nuclear weapons. We will continue working with our international partners to achieve that common objective. The path chosen by Iran's new leaders -- threats, concealment, and breaking international agreements and IAEA seals -- will not succeed and will not be tolerated by the international community. The regime's continued defiance only further isolates Iran from the rest of the world and undermines the Iranian people's aspirations for a better life.

I end with a message to the Iranian people. The action today by the IAEA Board of Governors is not about denying the Iranian people the benefits of civilian nuclear power. The EU-3 and Russia, with the support of the United States, have made the Iranian regime offers that would enable Iran to have a civil nuclear energy program. The international community's sole purpose in this vote is to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the regime. Iran's true interests lie in working with the international community to enjoy the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy, not in isolating Iran by continuing to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons.

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