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. Bush hails 'headway' on highlighting Iranian threat
WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (AFP) Feb 10, 2008
President George W. Bush said in an interview aired Sunday the United States had made headway convincing Middle East states that Tehran is a threat, and that sanctions are having an impact on Iran's economy.

"In my trip in the Middle East, I made it abundantly clear to nervous nations that Iran is a threat," Bush told Fox News Sunday.

"I think I made pretty good headway in the Middle East that Iran is a threat," he said.

Bush expressed confidence in stepping up pressure on Tehran with a third sanctions resolution from the UN Security Council, aimed at forcing Iran to halt uranium enrichment, which the US and European allies believe is geared toward developing nuclear weapons.

The proposed new measures include an outright travel ban on Iranian officials involved in the country's nuclear and missile programs, and inspections of shipments to and from Iran if there are suspicions of prohibited goods.

"I feel pretty good about making sure that we keep the pressure on Iran to pressure them so they understand they're isolated, to pressure them to affect their economy, to pressure them to the point that we hope somebody rational shows up and says, okay, it's not worth it anymore," Bush said.

"There are some indications we're making progress. The economy isn't doing as well."

But he called out to Iranians, blaming the Tehran leadership for the problems.

"We have no problems with your history, (your) tradition. We respect you as a people, but it's your government that has made the decisions that are causing you to be economic pain that you're now having," Bush said.

All rights reserved. 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.

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