Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today ahead of President Bush’s remarks this morning, calling on the President to conduct a thorough review of his Iran policy in light of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program that concluded Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003:
“President Bush’s heated rhetoric on Iran – including comments about a potential World War III – is even more outrageous now that we know the intelligence community had informed him that it believes Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program four years ago. This is the latest in a long line of inaccurate and misleading comments that got us into the Iraq war to begin with. They further diminish the credibility of a President with a dangerous record of overstating threats.”
“In light of yesterday’s remarkable new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, I urge the President at his press conference today to announce a top-to-bottom review of his Iran policy and a diplomatic surge to advance U.S. interests with regard to Iran. He should announce that his Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense are prepared to meet anytime, anywhere with their Iranian counterparts to conduct vigorous diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and address the challenges of Iran.
President Bush Claimed A Nuclear Iran Could Lead to “World War III.” “I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them (Iran) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” [Remarks by President Bush, 10/17/07]
Secretary of State Rice Claimed Iran Was “Lying” About its Nuclear Weapons Program And That It Was Pursing Nuclear Technologies. Last month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Iran of “lying” about the aim of its nuclear program, saying there’s no doubt Tehran wants the capability to produce nuclear weapons and has deceived the U.N.’s atomic watchdog about its intentions. “There is an Iranian history of obfuscation and, indeed, lying to the IAEA,” said Rice, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency. “There is a history of Iran not answering important questions about what is going on and there is Iran pursuing nuclear technologies that can lead to nuclear weapons-grade material.” [AP, 10/11/07]
U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns Echoed Secretary Rice’s Comments Claiming Iran Was Seeking Nuclear Capability. “Iran is seeking a nuclear capability … that some people fear might lead to a nuclear-weapons capability,” [PBS Transcripts, 10/25/07]