Bureau of Public Affairs
June 20, 2006
Iran at a Crossroads: An Historic Opportunity for A Better FuturePDF version
The Iranian Challenge
By pursuing nuclear activities that mask its effort to acquire nuclear weapons, the Iranian regime is acting in defiance of its treaty obligations, of the United Nations Security Council, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Nuclear weapons in the hands of this regime would be a grave threat to people everywhere. The leaders of Iran also sponsor terror, deny liberty and human rights to their people, and threaten the existence of Israel.
Unified Diplomatic Approach
President Bush has consulted closely with leaders in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom, Germany and France, and with the Presidents of Russia and China, and all have agreed on a common diplomatic approach. The United States has offered to come to the table with its partners and to meet with Iran's representatives as soon as the Iranian regime fully and verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.
A Clear Choice for Iran
The Iranian regime has an historic opportunity to set its country on a better course. If Iran accepts the new diplomatic offer and voluntarily suspends its nuclear activities, an agreement can be worked out that will bring Iran real economic, social and political benefits. If Iran's leaders reject the offer, it will result in Security Council action, further isolation from the world, and progressively stronger political and economic sanctions.
Iran's Rich History and Talented People
The United States respects the Iranian people and their country and admires its rich history, vibrant culture, and many contributions to civilization. When Cyrus the Great led the Iranian people over 2,500 years ago, he issued one of the world's first declarations of individual rights, including freedom of religion. Through the centuries, Iranians have achieved distinction in medicine and science, poetry and philosophy, and countless other fields. In the 21 st century, the people of Iran, including their talented and educated youth, are among the world's leaders in science and technology, and have a large presence on the Internet.
Iran's Right to Develop Peaceful Nuclear Energy
Iranians look to make greater progress including the development of civilian nuclear energy. The United States believes the Iranian people should enjoy the benefits of a truly peaceful program to use nuclear reactors to generate electric power. We support the Iranian people's rights to develop nuclear energy peacefully, with proper international safeguards.
The Future of the Iranian People
The people of Iran, like people everywhere, want and deserve the opportunity to determine their own future, an economy that rewards their intelligence and talents, and society that allows them to pursue their dreams. The United States believes that Iranians would thrive if they were given more opportunities to travel and study abroad, and to do business with the rest of the world. In America, Iranian Americans have used their freedom to advance in society, and make tremendous contributions in areas from business to medicine to academe.
New Opportunities for Contact
The United States is looking for new ways to increase contact between Americans and Iranians, especially in education and culture, sports and tourism. More than $75 million
will be devoted to this goal in 2006. These funds will expand and improve radio and television broadcasts to the Iranian people, establish student and faculty exchanges, and support Iranian human rights advocates and civil society organizations.
America's Hope for Iran
Americans believe the future of Iran will be decided by the people of Iran, and we believe that future can be one of progress and prosperity and achievement. We look forward to the day when our nations are friends, and when the people of Iran enjoy the full fruits of liberty, and play a leading role to establish peace in the world.