Q How badly does this complicate your strategic objectives, given that you were making some progress with the European allies, or other allies, to put pressure on Iran? If you read, in everything from the Journal op-ed page today to Robert Kagan's piece in the Post to even the front-page piece in the Journal, you've got a lot of people reacting, whether it's China, or folks in the Middle East, saying that this is going to probably give them less incentive to join with the United States in putting pressure on the Iranian regime.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we don't get to say we only pursue those
policies if they're easy. It's very important, I think -- and the President
clearly does -- that we proceed down the road of trying to persuade Iran
diplomatically to give up their efforts to enrich uranium. That has not
changed. There's nothing in the NIE that said we should be -- not be
concerned about their enrichment activities.
Q But does it make it harder for you to do that --
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The NIE?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Perhaps, but it wasn't easy to begin with.
Q Just a related question. Why was it released, given the degree to which it might tie your hands?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think there was a general belief, that we all
shared, that it was important to put it out; that it was not likely to stay
classified for long anyway and -- in terms of trying to deal effectively
with this kind of an issue, especially in light of what happened with
respect to Iraq and the NIE on weapons of mass destruction in I
|SOURCE White House Press Office|
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