Bush calls Iranian leadership "big disappointment"
( Reuters ) - U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday called Iran's leadership a "big disappointment" for the Iranian people and said Tehran continues to defy the international community over its nuclear ambitions.
"The people of Iran could be doing a lot better than they are today," Bush said after talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "Because of the actions of this government the country is isolated and we will continue to work to isolate it."
He said Iran had been a destabilizing influence in the region, a reference to accusations by Washington that Tehran has been supporting militants in Iraq and questions about whether it was also sending weapons across the border to Afghanistan.
The U.N. Security Council has imposed two rounds of sanctions since December on Iran for failing to halt uranium enrichment. A third sanctions resolution is being considered.
Western powers suspect Iran is seeking to acquire a nuclear weapon but Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely aimed at producing electricity.
Bush said it was up to the Iranians to show they were a stabilizing force in the region and not trying to undermine the new governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I believe it is in the interests of all of us that we have an Iran that tries to stabilize not destabilize, an Iran that gives up its weapons ambitions and therefore we are working to that end," Bush said.