Bush: No US policy change on Iran

02 January 2004
US President Bush denied claims made on 1 January that a temporary relaxing of certain sanctions against Iran in the wake of the 26 December earthquake in southeastern Iran indicated a possible policy change. Bush has agreed to relax certain sanctions for 90 days so that US aid can reach Iran faster and money can be transferred to the country. The relaxation will allow US citizens and non-governmental organisations to help victims without special authorisation from the US government. 'What we are doing in Iran is that we are showing the Iranian people that American people care, that we have great compassion for human suffering,' Bush said on 1 January. 'We appreciate the fact the Iranian government is willing to allow our humanitarian aid flights into their country.'

However, Bush's announcement came with word of advice for Tehran. 'The Iranian government must listen to the voices of those who long for freedom, must turn over Al-Qaeda that are in their custody and must abandon their nuclear weapons programme.'

The Iranian government welcomed the arrival of US specialists in the last days of 2003 to help with the rescue efforts in Bam. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said that the temporary lifting of certain sanctions was 'positive'. 'Naturally, the permanent and total lifting of the sanctions would introduce a new climate into the relations between the two countries.' (MEED 29:12:03)

You might also like...

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications