Bombing on Iran wild speculation: Bush
Bush reaffirmed his commitment to resolving the dispute with Iran over its nuclear activities peacefully.Updated: Apr 11, 2006 13:41 IST
US President George W Bush reaffirmed his commitment to resolving the dispute with Iran over its nuclear activities peacefully.
Bush rejected reports he was preparing a bombing campaign as "wild speculation".
"I read the articles in the newspapers this weekend. It was just wild speculation, by the way," Bush said at John Hopkins University in Washington.
"What you are reading is wild speculation," he informed.
Bush was referring to reports in The New Yorker magazine and the Washington Post that his administration had intensified planning for an air campaign on Iran.
While Bush has not ruled out military action, he said his goal of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is attainable through diplomacy.
"We hear in Washington, you know, 'prevention means force.' It does not mean force - necessarily," he added. "In this case it means diplomacy."
The US accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, while Iran says its programmes are purely to generate electricity.
Bush said that the diplomatic effort by the US and its European partners to keep Iran from developing a weapon was "making pretty good progress".
Iran has until the end of this month to halt uranium enrichment -- a step that could be used to build nuclear weapons -- under a statement approved by the UN Security Council in March.
If Iran does not comply, the US will seek a legally binding resolution requiring Iran to come clean on its nuclear activities and after that, possible sanctions, the US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said.
In its effort to isolate Iran, the US has run into stiff resistance in the Security Council from China and Russia.
Bolton said that Washington could take steps outside the council if the diplomatic effort in New York stalls.
First Published: Apr 11, 2006 12:12 IST