The US administration has embarked on a series of face-to-face meetings with world leaders at the UN summit to try to isolate Iran diplomatically over Iran's push to expand its nuclear programme.
George Bush met Hu Jintao, the Chinese leader, on Tuesday and will hold talks with Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, tomorrow in an attempt to secure their support for referring Iran to the UN security council, a move that could see sanctions imposed on Tehran. The Chinese leader refused to commit himself.
In support of Mr Bush's diplomatic drive, US officials have delivered hour-long PowerPoint briefings, entitled A History of Concealment and Deception, to diplomats from at least a dozen countries. The officials making the presentation, which includes satellite photographs of Iran's nuclear installations, admit they cannot say definitively that Tehran is covertly trying to secure a nuclear weapons capability. Iran has repeatedly denied it has any ambition to build a nuclear weapon and claims it only wants a civilian nuclear programme.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's new president, is due to make a speech at the UN summit today, his first major international outing since his surprise election in June. He said before leaving Iran that he would tell the UN: "All nations should be allowed to use different kinds of energies, including nuclear."
Mr Ahmadinejad is also holding a series of bilateral talks with other leaders to try to win support. Iranian officials have been hinting for weeks that their delegation to the summit will offer a new set of proposals, possibly suggesting that the two-year-long talks between Iran and the European Union trio of Britain, France and Germany be expanded to include the US, Russia and China. Iran has good relations with the latter two, both of which are big importers of Iranian oil.
As well as security council members, Mr Bush is targeting the 35 board members of the International Atomic Energy Authority, the UN nuclear watchdog which on Monday will consider referral to the security council. The PowerPoint presentations have been held at the US mission in Vienna, headquarters of the IAEA.
The US has long called on Iran to drop its nuclear programme altogether, even for non-military purposes, but Mr Bush on Tuesday accepted that Iran had the right to pursue a civilian programme. But Iran should not be allowed to gain the technical skill that would enable it to make weapons, Guardian reports.
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