January 19, 2007 / 6:38 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Bush: unacceptable for Iran to have atomic weapon

(Adds quotes, details, background)

WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush said on Friday he was aware of “speculation” that Iran has started enriching uranium in a second network of centrifuges and said it was unacceptable for Tehran to have a nuclear weapon.

“It says to me that we must double our effort to work with the international community to persuade the Iranians that there is only isolation from the world if they continue working forward on such a program,” Bush told reporters during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

“I’ve read the speculation that that’s what they may be doing. But whether they doubled it or not, the idea of Iran having a nuclear weapon is unacceptable,” Bush added.

Iran’s student news agency ISNA reported that Iran had started a second centrifuge network, expanding a program which the West fears is intended to make nuclear bombs. Iran denies plans to make weapons and says its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes.

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