19 November 2003
Powell En Route London Discusses Iran Nuclear Program, Iraq
Says Iran's nuclear program should be dealt with "once and for all"
The early draft of a resolution on Iran's nuclear program being proposed by France, Britain and Germany is "deficient," Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters en route from Brussels to London November 18, adding that the issue is one of compliance.
"Iran was not keeping its commitments, and ...had a program that went beyond just power generation, to the development of nuclear weapons. And now the evidence is clear and everybody can see it," Powell said.
What is needed is "a way to move forward so that we can deal with this problem in its entirety, once and for all," he added.
"We want to be able to satisfy the international community that they [Iran] have stopped doing anything that would lead to the development of nuclear weapons.... If Iran does do that we are on our way to a solution. But we should not declare victory before a victory has been achieved."
While in Brussels, Powell met with European Union foreign ministers. Their discussions on Iraq focused on the political situation but not financial assistance. "No new pledges were made," Powell said, "nor was I expecting any."
Powell said he thought the Europeans were pleased that the timetable for returning sovereignty to the Iraqi people was being accelerated.
However, acceleration of the transfer of authority is not linked to the acceleration of grants or loans. "That really moves with a different dynamic, what projects are ready to be funded," he said.
Powell added that he thought the Europeans were pleased to hear that the United States is looking forward to more active involvement on the part of the United Nations, especially through a yet-unnamed Special Representative of the Secretary General.
Following is the press availability:
U.S. Department of State
REMARKS TO THE PRESS
November 18, 2003
SECRETARY POWELL: A short flight, so we'll have a short time for us here. Questions?
QUESTION: May I ask what the U.S. wants to change in the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] resolution, the draft resolution?
SECRETARY POWELL: I haven't seen the latest draft of the resolution and it's being worked in Vienna, it's being worked in Washington, it's being worked in London, Paris and Berlin. And so I don't want to pop an answer, but the resolution draft we saw earlier in the day was just deficient. And I know that even Dr. El Baradei thought it was inadequate to the report that he had prepared. So, there is a lot of debate and discussion going on now about the resolution, but I can't comment on how I would modify it because I don't have it up here with me in its current form.
QUESTION: Did you get any sense from the Europeans that the accelerated timetable in Iraq will in any way make them a little more forthcoming with the money? I know probably not troops, but at least any more of the money as a result of them being happier with the timetable?
SECRETARY POWELL: No new pledges were made, nor was I expecting any or asked for. I think the money is there: our 20 [billion], their 13.3 or the exact number that came from the Madrid Conference. They are, I think, pleased at the fact that we have now accelerated the process, principally by going for a fundamental law rather than the whole constitutional process. I heard no one speak against that. There was the usual comment from some that we should try to do it even faster, but I gave them the reasons for this approach. But we didn't really get into whether that would accelerate any particular grants, nor do I think it's linked to the acceleration of grants or loans. That really moves with a different dynamic, what projects are ready to be funded. So, there was no particular discussion ...
QUESTION: The French, for instance?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, the French? I didn't expect them to put any money on the table. They haven't changed their position since Madrid.
QUESTION: Can I go back to Iran and the IAEA for just a second? What was it that was deficient about the draft you saw earlier today, and if you can say, and even if you can't, can you say if it is a demand of yours that "non-compliance" be included in whatever resolution is finally put before the board?
SECRETARY POWELL: There's a lot going on and I don't want to comment on a resolution that is being worked and say what I would accept or not accept, what's in it, what's not in it. There's a lot of discussion taking place. And the resolution that I was aware of, being presented by the "E.U. Three" was not adequate. It did not have trigger mechanisms in the case of further Iranian intransigence or difficulty. Things like that: those are the sorts of issues we're working on. And whether or not we should go for a resolution or if a resolution is totally inadequate, than maybe [we] don't have a resolution right now.
QUESTION: Back on the issue of Iraq. What did the Europeans say they wanted from the Administration, the Bush Administration, on Iraq going forward? What sort of influence were they seeking? Are they looking for a role in choosing, in setting up the political structure? And finally, are you going to seek a new resolution at the U.N.?
SECRETARY POWELL: On the second question, it is always possible. It is premature to make a decision. What they asked for, and not so much they asked for, but the principal item of discussion was: can the U.N. now play a more active role? And I said, "We hope so." And I encouraged them to also talk to Secretary General Annan about the appointment of a Secretary General's Special Representative. And you heard me say that yesterday in front of the Department, and I talked to the Secretary General about it. And you've seen his own statements that he is looking for someone now. And he is anxious to get more involved.
And, so, I think they were pleased to hear that we are looking forward to more active involvement in the process going forward on the part of the United Nations and his Special Representative. They did not specifically ask for any individual country represented there today, or for the E.U., to play a role different than the role they are currently playing or to get involved in the work that is going on within the Governing Council. All of them have representation ... no, not all of them, but many of them have representatives in Baghdad. And a number of them make frequent trips to Baghdad, such as Ana Palacio and Jack Straw, where they talk directly to the Governing Council and to Ambassador Bremer. And, or course, Jeremy Greenstock, Her Majesty's government's representative there. So, they have ways of inputting already. Nothing new was presented today or offered today or asked for today.
MR. BOUCHER: Okay, guys. Who wants the last one?
QUESTION: First time in the palace?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think so. I mean, I've been around the palace many times, but I think this is the first time I'm IN the palace, I think. Don't quite take that to the bank. I'll have to look around and see if I recognize any rooms.
QUESTION: You weren't the guy who snuck in that one day?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, that was not me.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) John Bolton said that he doesn't do carrots, when talking about Iran.
SECRETARY POWELL: Did John say that today?
QUESTION: Not today, but recently, when talking about Iran.
SECRETARY POWELL: I think an important point is that we have been saying for quite a long time that Iran was not keeping its commitments, and that it had a program that went beyond just power generation, to the development of nuclear weapons. And now the evidence is clear and everybody can see it. A lot of information has come forward. And so we are pleased that Iran seems to be responding to international pressure and trying to meet its obligations.
But this is not something we should be congratulating Iran about. We should be noting it and looking for a way to move forward so that we can deal with this problem in its entirety, once and for all. And, therefore, it is in Iran's interest to come forward. And it should not be in our interest to plead with Iran or in some way say to Iran that, "it is not your obligation, and gee, we will not make it any harder for you." This should be looked at with a realistic point of view, Iran should come into compliance with its obligations, and we want to see everything they've been doing. And we want to be able to satisfy the international community that they have stopped doing anything that would lead to the development of nuclear weapons. If that's what Iran intends, that's what the IAEA expects, that's what we as a member of the IAEA expect, and if Iran does do that we are on our way to a solution. But we should not declare victory before a victory has been achieved on this issue.
All right, we're landing, guys.
MR. BOUCHER: That's really it. Thank you.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)