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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 14, 2006
Comparing the Coverage: London Vs. Washington Reporting on Prime Minister Blair's Remarks
Setting the Record Straight
"There is a fundamental misunderstanding that this is about changing policy on Syria and Iran."
- Prime Minister Tony Blair, World Affairs Speech, 11/13/06
London-Based Reporting On Prime Minister Tony Blair's Remarks Shows That Prime Minister Blair "Offered No Dramatic New Policy Proposals."
Washington-Based Reporting Claims Prime Minister Blair Shifted His Position.
Prime Minister Blair's Policy Is Not New And Is Similar To President Bush's Policy
Yesterday, Prime Minister Blair Repeated His Previous Call For Talks With Iran If The Iranians "Abide By, Not Flout, Their International Obligations." "But we all want Iran to suspend its enrichment process which if allowed to continue, will give them a nuclear weapon. Under the agreement we brokered in June, the US has said they will talk to Iran direct for the first time in 30 years, if they abide by the UN demand to suspend enrichment. But Iran is refusing to do it. Instead they are using the pressure points in the region to thwart us. So they help the most extreme elements of Hamas in Palestine; Hizbollah in the Lebanon; Shia militia in Iraq. That way, they put obstacles in the path to peace, paint us, as they did over the Israel/Lebanon conflict, as the aggressors, inflame the Arab street and create political turmoil in our democratic politics. It is a perfectly straightforward and clear strategy. It will only be defeated by an equally clear one: to relieve these pressure points one by one and then, from a position of strength to talk, in a way I described in July in my speech in Los Angeles: offer Iran a clear strategic choice: they help the MEPP not hinder it; they stop supporting terrorism in Lebanon or Iraq; and they abide by, not flout, their international obligations. In that case, a new partnership is possible. Or alternatively they face the consequences of not doing so: isolation." (Prime Minister Blair, World Affairs Speech To The Lord Mayor's Banquet, London, England, 11/13/06)
Full Text Of Prime Minister Blair's Remarks
The Full Text Of Prime Minister Blair's Remarks Is Available At:
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