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Remarks on Iran

Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Remarks at a Security Council Stakeout
New York City
May 3, 2006

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: We, and the British, and the French, expect that they will introduce the draft resolution this afternoon unless there is some change from Europe. It will be a Chapter 7 resolution; we will make mandatory on Iran the suspension of all uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing activities. It is a very straightforward resolution, the terms of which I expect you will get in due course after it is circulated to the Council. We'll have a discussion course of the IAEA report and probably of initial views on the text of the resolution.

REPORTER: (Inaudible)

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: There will be a reporting period in the text as there was in the last resolution, we are still working on what exactly that will be.

REPORTER: (inaudible) threat to international peace and security and would you be willing to drop that?

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: No. Yes and no.

REPORTER: On the Chapter 7 issue, given that Russia has provided technology to Iran and weapons as well, why would Russia ever agree to a sanctions regime in which it could be affected by those sanctions?

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: Well, this resolution will not deal with sanctions. But why should Russia not want a nuclear-armed ballistic missile equipped Iran? Because it is not in their interest to be within the range of another nuclear power.

REPORTER: What is the time frame? How many days?

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: We are giving them X days in this draft and we'll work that out. But it should be a short period of time. I think we're all agreed, the British and the French, of course are the sponsors of the resolution, but I think we are all agreed it should be a very short time.

REPORTER: Didn't have a certain number of days (inaudible)?

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: There will be a relatively short period for Iran to come into compliance.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: X days.

REPORTER: How many days would you like it to be?

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: I'd be happy with a very small number but we are going to work this out. Let me just take one more.

REPORTER: Is two weeks a reasonable period in your mind? And if not, would sanctions be automatic?

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: Well, I think it is going to be a very short period of time, I think we are all agreed on that. And once again, the key to this lies in Iran's hands. If they give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons a lot of things are possible. If they continue to bluster and to threaten and to obfuscate and try to throw sand in our eyes then we are on to a different circumstance.

REPORTER: Would you need another resolution for sanctions?

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: Yes, we kind of played this being a two step process as I think I have faithfully described to you for some time here. Excuse me, the first resolution would be making mandatory the critical elements of prior IAEA Board resolutions; and then the second step would, of course, would depend on the Iranian reaction. But we are going to go and have a discussion of all these things in the Council. Ms. Farley?

REPORTER: Ambassador, do you have language in this draft ensuring that it is a two-step process?

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: It will be clear from the way the resolution is worded that we will call on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, decide that they must do that. And give them a period of time within which the IAEA would report back. And then we have said, we have made no secret about this, we expect that if Iran doesn't back away from their conduct which constitutes a threat to international peace and security, that the Council would be ready to take steps subsequently. The first of which would be targeted sanctions then we don't exclude that we would take other steps in connection with sanctions outside the Council as well. But let me go.

REPORTER: What is going on with this? The Foreign Ministers are going to be here next Monday now I believe.

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: Well, you know my rule, I never predict timing because I am always wrong. But I can tell you I think that we would like to see this decided in the Council before the Ministers get here so they can talk about the bigger picture and next steps. That may or may not be possible, we are going to work as hard as we can to try and get it resolved but we will just have to see. Okay? I'll see you.


Released on May 3, 2006

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