Cheney warns of 'serious consequences' of Iran's nuclear ambitions

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Monday, October 22, 2007

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney giving his speech.

In a speech on Sunday, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney warned that Iran will face "serious consequences" if it refuses to stop enriching uranium. In his speech, Cheney also accused Iran of being "the world’s most active sponsor of state terrorism," and called Iran's government "a growing obstacle to peace in the Middle East."

"The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences," Cheney said in a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Studies, without specifying whether those consequences would include military action. "The United States joins other nations in sending a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon," he said.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said today that Iran's nuclear policies are "unalterable" and that terminating Iran's nuclear program "isn't on the agenda and won't be." Iran maintains that it is developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, a position that has been backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with CNN, U.S. Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif.) said the language being used by the Bush administration is "very dangerous" and recommended stronger U.N. sanctions as an alternative to "war-mongering threats." "We heard about mushroom clouds and other images before the military action in Iraq. I wish the president would avoid that," she said.


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