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Are the consequences of Middle East extremists unavoidable?

*Bloomberg, by Catherine Dodge & Edwin Chen, June 11, 2008

“President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said more sanctions will be placed on Iran if the government continues to ignore demands to suspend uranium enrichment.

Bush also reiterated that all options remain open regarding Iran, after talks in Germany with Merkel.

`All options are on the table, and my first choice is to solve this diplomatically,’ Bush said today at a press conference with the chancellor. `If they choose to continue to be obstinate, there will be additional sanctions.’

Bush, on his farewell trip to Europe, arrived in Germany yesterday and held meetings with Merkel at Schloss Meseberg, a government guesthouse about 70 kilometers (44 miles) north of Berlin. Deterring Iran’s nuclear ambitions is the focus of Bush’s weeklong trip. He left Germany for Rome after his talks today and will also make stops in Paris and London.

The U.S. president won backing from the European Union for tighter sanctions against Iran’s banks, officials announced yesterday. European Commission President Jose Barroso told Bush that the 27-nation EU’s executive branch will take `additional measures’ to keep Iranian banks from funding terrorism.

Merkel agreed that more sanctions should be placed on Iran if the government continues to ignore demands from the international community to suspend its nuclear program that the U.S. and many European countries believe is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iran, home to the world’s second largest oil and natural gas reserves, says its nuclear research is for peaceful purposes.

`Further Sanctions’

`If Iran does not meet its commitments, then further sanctions will simply have to follow,’ Merkel said. `We would hope for the leadership in Iran to finally see reason.’

Iran ignored demands to stop producing nuclear fuel and blocked inspectors from looking at documents claiming the government in Tehran researched atomic weapons, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said last month.”

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