THE PRESIDENT: We do not want the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon, the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, or the knowledge as to how to make a nuclear weapon. That's our stated goal. It's also the goal, fortunately, of other -- of friends and allies, starting with Great Britain, Germany, and France.
One of the decisions I made early on was to have a multinational approach to sending messages -- clear messages to the Iranians that -- that if they want to be a part of the -- an accepted nation in the world, that they must give up their nuclear weapons ambitions. And we're making pretty good progress.
By the way, if you're studying how to achieve diplomatic ends, it might be worthwhile noting -- I think at least -- with the United States being the sole interlocutor between Iran, it makes it more difficult to achieve the objective of having the Iranians give up their nuclear weapons ambitions.
It's amazing that when we're in a bilateral position, or kind of just negotiating one on one, somehow the world ends up turning the tables on us. And I'm not going to put my country in that position -- our country in that position. Also, I think it's more effective that the three of us -- the four of us work closely together.
We've also included Russia into the dialogue. A couple of months back, you might remember there was a discussion about whether or not the Russians should be allowed to build -- or encouraged to build a civilian nuclear power plant, but the fuel of which would be provided and collected by the Russians. I supported that initiative. I thought it was difficult, on the one hand, to say that civilian nuclear power is a sovereign right of a nation, and on the other hand, not to then support the Russian initiative. And I did so. I also did so because I want Russia to be a part of the -- part of the team, trying to convince the Iranians to give up its nuclear weapons program.
Now, I want to emphasize this point, and that is, is that we're not only making sure they don't have the means to develop the weapon, but the knowledge. And that's why I was very strong in saying that they should not have -- that there should not be a research component involved with the Russian deal that will enable the Iranians to learn how to better enriched -- enrich uranium.
But our objective is to prevent them from having a nuclear weapon. And the good news is, is that many in the world have come to that conclusion. I got out a little early on the issue by saying, axis of evil. (Laughter.) But I meant it. I saw it as a problem. And now, many others have -- have come to the conclusion that the Iranians should not have a nuclear weapon.
The doctrine of prevention is to work together to prevent the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon. I know -- I know here in Washington prevention means force. It doesn't mean force, necessarily. In this case, it means diplomacy. And by the way, I read the articles in the newspapers this weekend. It was just wild speculation, by the way. What you're reading is wild speculation, which is -- it's kind of a -- happens quite frequently here in the nation's capital.
There was no mention of Venezuela or Chavez in the President's news conference.
Poor Hugo ;-( Stamping and screaming as loud as he can and he's still ignored. What a Maroon.
Oil up $2.00 on this news.
Already has been posted!!!!!!