Wednesday, Nov 26, 2008
The United States has not pressured Israel to rule out military action in order to halt Iran’s nuclear program, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday after talks with President George W. Bush.
The outgoing prime minister, who ends what is probably his last visit to Washington in office, said he had “spoke at length with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the president on Iran.”
“There is a basic, deep understanding about the Iranian threat and the need to act in order to remove threat,” he told reporters.
Israel considers Iran its greatest threat, because of Tehran’s accelerating nuclear program and repeated statements by its leaders predicting the Jewish state’s demise.
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Israel — the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power — and the United States accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, while Tehran has insisted its program is entirely peaceful.
The Jewish state has refused to rule out military response to the nuclear standoff and Olmert said on Tuesday that the Bush administration has never advised them against such action.