US president George W. Bush said on Tuesday he released intelligence about the suspected nuclear link between Syria and North Korea to make it clear to Iran that it could not hide its own nuclear program.
Bush broke months of silence on the matter after his administration went public last week with accusations that
He said the disclosure, including photos and other information the CIA insisted showed the facility’s potential for nuclear weapons purposes, was meant to “advance certain policy objectives.”
“One would be to the North Koreans, to make it abundantly clear that we may know more about you than you think,” Bush told a news conference in the White House Rose Garden.
The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency has criticized the
A diplomat close to the U.N. nuclear watchdog and outside analysts have said the U.S. disclosure did not amount to proof of an illicit arms program because there was no sign of a reprocessing plant needed to convert spent fuel from the facility into bomb-grade plutonium.
Under a six-nation deal reached with
September 2005, the poor, communist state committed to abandon all nuclear weapons and programs in return for economic aid and diplomatic benefits.
But the agreement has been stalled by
Bush said the intelligence had been withheld at first because of a risk of “confrontation” or “retaliation,” an apparent reference to a possible Syrian military response to the Israeli airstrike, but that such concerns had receded.
He acknowledged the disclosure was intended to pressure
“And then we have an interest in sending a message to Iran and the world for that matter about just how destabilizing nuclear proliferation would be in the Middle East,” Bush said.
With 10 months left in office, Bush is making a push to resolve the long-festering dispute over
The administration’s release of the intelligence, including briefings with
Date created : 2008-04-29