On June 1, President Bush warned that the U.S. government will only negotiate with Iran if they halt their nuclear program immediately. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared that Iran had a matter of weeks to accept an economic “incentive” package and halt nuclear activities. Otherwise, Rice warned, Iran would face dire consequences including United Nations sanctions and potential unilateral U.S. action.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton talked about the economic incentives and Bush’s offer to negotiate on FOX News on June 1: “This is ‘put up or shut up’ time for Iran.”
Iran has the right to pursue its nuclear energy program on its own terms. Although the U.S. formally recognizes that right, it continues to target Iran and make the suspension of their nuclear program a precondition for any diplomatic talks.
On June 3, Iranian president Ahmadinejad responded to the U.S. threats. “Unfortunately, some countries that possess nuclear weapons arsenals want to deprive us of our absolute rights.”
Ahmadinejad announced June 8 that Iran was ready to discuss “mutual concerns” over Iran’s nuclear program, but refused to first suspend uranium enrichment.