Sydney: U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said on 24 February 2007 that the United States favoured a diplomatic approach to Iran’s nuclear programmes but said “all options” are on the table.
“It would be a serious mistake if a nation like Iran were to become a nuclear power,” Cheney warned during a joint press conference with Australian prime minister John Howard. “All options are still on the table.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency has issued a report saying that Iran had not halted, and in fact had expanded, its uranium enrichment programme, defying a UN Security Council demand to stop enrichment by this week.
The United States, France and Britain have called for tougher Security Council sanctions on Tehran, while Germany, China and Russia have taken softer stances.
“We’ve worked with the European Community and through the United Nations to put in place a set of policies to persuade the Iranians to give up their aspirations,” said Cheney. “That’s still our preference.”
“The next step now is being debated, between our government and the others involved,” he said.
“Nick Burns, the number three man at the (US) state department is in London today to negotiate with our European friends ... on the future course of action we want to pursue with respect to the United Nations sanctions and so forth,” he said.