Rice explains new US view on Iran nukes

Updated: 2007-12-05 17:33

"We need to do everything we can to stop them from being able to perfect this enrichment and reprocessing program," she said.

"We know that pressure has worked in the past and it caused them to do something very important," Rice said. "Now let's use our collective efforts to cause them to take the next important step," she added, referring to a potential halt to its enrichment of uranium.

Rice said she wants officials from other countries to try to understand the nuance of the new US intelligence assessment.

"People need the opportunity to absorb what they've heard," she said. "We have been completely transparent about what the intelligence assessment says. And people need a chance to read it. When they do that and when they read it in its detail and nuance, they will be able to see the points that I have made."

Iran on Tuesday said the new US intelligence report is vindication that its nuclear program is peaceful. And Iranian officials insisted that the US should take a less hawkish stance and drop attempts to impose new sanctions in light of the report's conclusion that Iran shows no signs of resuming any weapons work.

Bush ruled out any change in policy, telling a White House news conference Tuesday that sanctions were still needed to force Iran to stop uranium enrichment, which he warned could be used for building atomic warheads someday. France and Britain also said pressure must be maintained on Tehran.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak disputed the US conclusions, saying Israeli intelligence believes Iran is still trying to develop nuclear weapons.

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