Thursday, March 03, 2005
Bush Seen Backing Europe on Iran in Major Policy Shift"By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) was leaning on Thursday toward backing Europe in offering incentives to Iran (news - web sites) to persuade it to give up nuclear ambitions, U.S. officials said, in a significant shift in strategy toward an arch enemy.
Bush was to discuss Iran at an afternoon meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites), who met on Tuesday in London with foreign ministers of the three nations handling European negotiations with Iran -- Britain, France and Germany.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush had not made a final decision. He declined to discuss any details.
'We're continuing to look at how we can best support the European efforts, and make sure that those efforts are successful, to get Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions,' he said.
U.S. officials said under the new strategy, the United States would not block Iran as it seeks to start the process of joining the World Trade Organization (news - web sites), and would not stand in the way of European allies if they want to sell Tehran parts for civilian aircraft. "
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