PRESIDENT BUSH: Say that again, Steve. I'm getting a little old. I'm getting old; I'm having trouble hearing.
Q China's U.N. Ambassador --
PRESIDENT BUSH: The Chinese Ambassador said what?
Q It might complicate the issue if you refer Iran to --
PRESIDENT BUSH: Might complicate the issue?
Q Yes, sir -- of how hard it's going to be -- what's your timetable? Should the sanctions include the threat of military force?
PRESIDENT BUSH: First of all, I want to repeat what I said before. We should not prejudge the strategy in the Security Council until they get to the Security Council. What we're doing now is beginning to lay out the strategy of what happens in the Security Council. That's what friends do. We consult, we talk, we strategize as to how to achieve an important objective, which is not allowing an -- for Iran not to have a nuclear weapon.
And you're going to see a lot of public discussion about this matter. And the Chinese, you know, have got an opinion, the Russians have an opinion, we have opinions, everybody has opinions. Our job is to form a common consensus. And so you're -- this is what's called diplomacy. I know you know that, Steve. I don't mean to insult you. But diplomacy is out talking to friends, allies, and others about a common objective. This meeting has got a lot of diplomacy in it today, because this is a subject in which we've spent a lot of time. I'm very interested in the Chancellor's opinion on this subject.
We did talk about the Chinese statement. Our job is to make it clear to all parties that it is in the world's interest that Iran not have a nuclear weapon. In other words, share the same goal. Once that goal is established, it makes it easier to come up with the strategy to achieve the goal.
And so, of course, we'll reach out to the Chinese and remind them, once again, that it's not in their interest or the world's interest for the Iranians to develop the capacity to -- and/or a nuclear -- to build a weapon and/or to possess a weapon. And I just gave you one reason why.
Another reason why is it's very important for non-transparent societies not to have the capacity to blackmail free societies. We're thinking about how to lay the foundation for peace. We must be proactive. And that's what you're seeing. You're seeing the evolution of a proactive diplomatic policy --
Q What about --
THE PRESIDENT: Military option?
Please, Oh Please, don't miss this last point - he never answers the "military options" question. Not in the least bit. And Scotty McMessage doesn't clairify it any further in his propoganda storm in the whitehouse press briefing room either. But notice, it's "not off the table." Sounds like the preamble to Iraq - if so, we are in for a world of shit - or perhaps finally getting us that mushroom cloud Condi threatened us with.
Q Scott, can we go to the question that wasn't answered at the press conference about possible military action? I know you've answered this in the past, but you're ruling out military action, and doesn't Iran pose a greater threat than Iraq?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think the President was actually starting to get to it in his comments. But these are different situations. Iraq and Iran are not the same situations, and I think the President previously has talked about that. When he was in Europe he said Iran is not Iraq. We are working to solve this in a diplomatic way. What we are now entering is a new diplomatic phase. Secretary Rice talked about that yesterday. And we're working with the international community to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran has continued to defy the international community. They have chosen defiance over cooperation. And everyone I think recognizes the threat posed by a nuclear armed Iran. You heard the President talk about it. And we want to continue to work with our European friends and others to solve this in a diplomatic manner. And that's why we're looking at the next step, which is moving it to the Security Council of the United Nations. That is still a diplomatic phase, and there are a number of measures and tools that are available to us and we'll be talking about those as we move forward, and heading to the board of governors meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency. The President has also always said we don't take options off the table, and he's made that very clear.