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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

16 September 2005

Rice Finds Iran's Defiance of International Demands Unacceptable

Says Teheran must not develop weapons-grade nuclear production capability

By David Shelby
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington – If the Iranian government continues to defy the international community and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by pursuing nuclear fuel-cycle activities, the matter will have to be referred to the U.N. Security Council, according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Speaking to the editorial board of NBC News September 15, she referred to a statement by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad after his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“I hope people were listening when he said he was happy to share his technology with other states. Generally, that's called proliferation, and so I think that would probably not be within the responsibilities of a state operating within the NPT [Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty]…  It's one of the dangers of letting Iran get the fuel cycle,” she said.

Rice said that the international community is united in its belief that Iran should not develop a nuclear fuel-cycle capability that could be used to produce weapons-grade nuclear material.  She noted the recent statement by French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin saying that Iran would be referred to the Security Council if it does not live up to its obligations.

She said, “Whatever the timing is on a [Security Council] referral, the message to the Iranians is that one way or another … the international community is not going to acquiesce in what the Iranians want to do, which is to have … the full fuel cycle.”

Rice told the editors of Newsweek magazine that the Iranian government would likely take a Security Council referral seriously, as it would undermine the government’s legitimacy with its own people to be identified as an “outlaw state” by the entire international community.  She said that despite Iran’s oil wealth, its economy is functioning poorly and could not withstand being isolated from the international community.

A transcript of Rice’s interview with NBC is available at the State Department Web site, as is a transcript of her interview with Newsweek.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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